Dominion Energy has announced its acquisition of Amazon Solar Farm, solar energy project on Virginia’s Eastern Shore from Community Energy Inc., the developer. The facility was named after the long-term power purchase agreement with Amazon Web Services that allowed its construction. The financial terms of the deal has not been disclosed.
Dominion Energy, a subsidiary of Richmond-based utility company Dominion Resources said the construction on this facility is expected to start later this year and the service is expected to start in fall 2016. It is said to offer solar power to the giant online retailer Amazon and other customers. As a means to use renewable energy for all its infrastructure, including the data centers in Virginia, Amazon Web Services declared few months ago to buy the energy from Community Energy.
Brent Alderfer, president of Community Energy Inc said, “This ground-breaking solar project in Virginia shows what can happen when you bring together a national energy leader like Dominion and a global web services provider like Amazon Web Services with forward-looking leaders in Accomack County and the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is a model for a new solar industry in the region and nationality.”
Dominion spokesperson said the power generated by this solar farm would be directed onto the utility’s grid. The site would use 250,000 solar panels across 900 acres, which would generate enough electricity to power around 15,000 houses in a year. Ryan Frazier of Dominion said there would be no changes in the Dominion Virginia Power’s rates. However, the electricity generates by the solar plant will be counted toward the state’s compliance with the federal Clean Power Plan that focuses to decrease carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Plans consist of four sub-projects that consists of total of 44 properties held by seven different owners who will lease the land in a 30-year arrangement.
Though Amazon Web Services plans to use 100% renewable energy ultimately, for start it plans to use 40% renewable energy by the end of next year. “We look forward to expanding our relationship with Amazon as it seeks to increase the mix of renewable energy on the electric grid powering its data centers. This project also shows Dominion’s commitment to building additional clean, renewable solar facilities in Virginia,” said Thomas F. Farell II, chairman, president and CEO of Dominion.