- Over the next 3 years, Appalachian Power aims to add around 500 MW solar and wind energy capacity to its portfolio
- It includes 294 MW of solar and 204 MW of wind energy; additionally, there is a plan to add 55 MW solar separately
- Appalachian Power has filed the plan with the Virginia SCC to seek approval to either acquire or contract this capacity
US utility Appalachian Power has filed its ‘most robust renewables plan to date’ with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to add around 500 MW of solar and wind energy capacity over the next 3 years. Plan also includes 55 MW solar project capacity that is or will be in service in the coming months.
Of the 500 MW plan, it has proposed to either acquire or contract 294 MW of solar and 204 MW of wind energy capacity. For the solar capacity planned, Appalachian Power seeks to purchase a 150 MW solar facility in Virginia’s Pittsylvania County, along with SCC approval to purchase power generated by 3 Virginia solar facilities through power purchase agreements (PPA) route representing close to 89 MW.
The company also wants a green signal from the SCC to recover costs associated with the purchase of 2 solar energy projects, namely a 50 MW facility in Berkley County and a 4.9 MW project in Amherst County.
The 204 MW wind energy capacity will be a single project that’s likely to become operational in Illinois in December 2024.
“The update filed with state regulators reflects the in-depth analysis necessary to ensure sufficient resources are in place to provide affordable and reliable power for our customers while continuing to build our renewables portfolio and meet our Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) requirements,” explained company President and COO, Chris Beam.
Under the VCEA, the state of Virginia aims to shutter all its old fossil fuel power plants and move towards a 100% renewable energy supply. Utilities failing to meet the mandate will be penalized. Appalachian Power has to go 100% carbon-free by 2050 as per the act, while the other utility Dominion Energy Virginia to become 100% carbon free by 2045.
Management warned though that as Appalachian Power adds more renewables to comply with the VCEA requirements, customer bills are expected to increase.
Part of the American Electric Power (AEP), Appalachian Power’s overarching target is to add close to 3.3 GW of solar, 2.6 GW of energy storage and around 3 GW of onshore wind to its current portfolio that comprises wind and hydro energy sources.
In February 2021, the utility launched its largest renewable energy request in a single year, for up to 300 MW AC solar/wind power (see US Utility Seeking Proposals For 300 MW Solar & Wind).