October 2, 2012

Solar and wind energy coming to Virginia?

"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy." But sunshine on big box store rooftops would make me even happier.

Dominion Power, under attack by greenies for including no wind power in their future plans, is seriously considering solar energy projects. And at an estimated cost of $111 million!

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (those folks who rule on power companies rates and increases) held a hearing recently on Dominion Power's hopes to build and operate up to 30 megawatts of solar-generated energy at 30-50 locations. They would lease space on commercial rooftops to make this happen. Not a bad idea if it really only costs each of us 20 cents per month.

Offshore wind projects, however, may be years away. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is looking for proposals (by October 17) to survey the ocean bottom off Virginia Beach to see if it can hold up massive wind turbines. Offshore Denmark can do it. They generate almost 20 percent of their energy needs by thousands of wind turbines. Is Virginia that different? Time will tell.