State, Microsoft, Dominion partner for affordable solar energy

solarGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced today that the Commonwealth of Virginia, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Dominion (NYSE: D) will partner to bring 20 megawatts (MW) of solar energy onto the grid in Virginia—enough energy to power 5,000 homes.

Speaking at the announcement today in Richmond, Governor McAuliffe said, “This agreement is a solid step forward in our ongoing effort to make Virginia a leader in the renewable energy economy. This partnership will help reduce Virginia’s carbon emissions and diversify our energy portfolio, while growing the solar and data center industries in Virginia. This is a prime example of the type of creative thinking and public-private cooperation we need to build a new Virginia economy.”

“The solar industry is a strategic growth sector for the Commonwealth, and this is a project that will result in the deployment of more solar in Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “The availability of renewable energy is not only good for the environment, but it is attractive for businesses looking to find 21st century locations.”

“By investing in these projects and partnering with states and utilities, Microsoft can provide long-term certainty needed to expand the amount of renewable energy available on the grid,” said Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist, Microsoft. “We are pleased to play a role in this project, as it will bring new, additional clean energy onto the grid in Virginia.”

“This forward-looking partnership will assist us in our continued commitment to increase the renewable energy available to serve our customers in Virginia,” said Thomas F. Farrell, II, CEO of Dominion Resources, Inc., the parent company of Dominion Virginia Power. “Microsoft and the Commonwealth play key roles in making this large-scale solar project possible, and we look forward to working with them.”

Dominion Virginia Power will construct the facility on land it already owns in Fauquier County, adjacent to its Remington generating station. The project is anticipated to be in service in late 2017, subject to regulatory approval.  The Commonwealth of Virginia will sign a purchase agreement with Dominion to purchase 100% of the electricity generated from the project.  Microsoft will purchase and retire the green attributes from the project to satisfy its sustainability goals.

Dominion committed to 400 MW of solar energy in Virginia by 2020. Microsoft previously announced agreements to purchase 175 MW of wind energy in Illinois that fully powers its Chicago data center with wind energy, and 110 MW of wind energy in Texas that powers its San Antonio data center.

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