Holy mackerel, is this for real? After years of controversy, Dominion Energy finally built its $400 million electric transmission line across a historic stretch of the James River, ensuring a secure supply of electricity to the Virginia Peninsula. Now a legal challenge puts the project in jeopardy — after the transmission line has been built! It is not clear whether an unfavorable court ruling would require Dominion to tear down the line, reports The Virginia Mercury. Whether you’re pro-Dominion or anti-Dominion, there is something acutely dysfunctional about a system of governance that would allow a power company to build a $400 million transmission line and then force the company to tear it down.
Step aside, Uber! Step aside, Tesla! With financial support from Dominion Energy, Fairfax County will launch a self-driving, electric-powered shuttle between the Dunn Loring Metro station and the Mosaic District, reports WTOP. The Fairfax County bus would be the first state-funded autonomous electric shuttle for public use in Virginia, and the first to run on roads that are open to the public. I have no idea if this idea will prove to be economically sustainable. But I do believe in small experiments. It makes far more sense to test the concept than to roll out a full-fledged program. Test. Learn. Modify. Test again. Scale up when you’ve got it right.
Pumped storage or battery storage? Having eliminated a proposed Wise County location from consideration, Dominion Energy has narrowed its search for a hydroelectric pumped-storage site to Tazewell County, reports the Roanoke Times. In theory, the proposed pumped-storage facility — which would produce 3,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 750,000 homes — would provide Dominion a source of backup power to supplement intermittent solar and wind power. Here’s the trick: The project would cost $2 billion. Renewable energy advocates say battery storage, though not economically feasible today for purposes of supply shifting, could become far more economical in the future as technology advances and costs go down. On the other hand, while battery storage looks promising, there are no guarantees of future performance. The big question: Should Virginians go with a proven technology or a promising-but-unproven technology?There are currently no comments highlighted.