Appalachian Power announced that they will acquire or contract 210 megawatts of solar power and 200 megawatts of wind power over the next five years as part of its plan to met targets established by the Virginia Clean Economy Act.
The legislation that was passed this year requires the utility to file an annual plan with the State Corporation Commission outlining how it plans to meet key targets on the way to becoming 100 percent carbon-free by 2050.
“Our blueprint meets the law’s requirements while keeping customer costs as low as possible,” Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and chief operating officer, said. “What we filed today is a well thought out plan that not only relies on existing resources but carefully expands our renewables portfolio in the Commonwealth while minimizing customer impacts over the next 30 years.”
The VCEA is a law that seeks to end carbon dioxide emissions from the utility industry in Virginia.
The company intends to meet the VCEA targets primarily through future investments in solar, wind, energy storage and energy efficiency measures.
By 2050, the company expects to add 3,400 MW of solar, 2,200 MW of on-shore wind and 400 MW of energy storage to its current resources.
Customer bills are estimated to increase as the company adds more renewables to comply with VCEA’s annual requirements.
The amount that bills will increase will depend on a customer’s class and usage.
Costs related to VCEA compliance are expected to add approximately 3.5 percent over five years to a residential customer’s bill.
“Our objective is to provide safe and reliable electricity for our customers while meeting our environmental and regulatory obligations,” Beam said. “With the plan we’ve developed, we’re able to accomplish that while keeping costs reasonable for our customers.”
The law further mandates utility companies to set a schedule for closing fossil fuel plants located across the Commonwealth.
At this time, AEP no longer owns or operates coal-fueled generation plants in Virginia.
The VCEA also requires AEP to develop new measures in order to promote energy efficiency.
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