Dominion plans to construct, own and operate twos solar energy projects totaling 81MW in Jasper County, in the US state of South Carolina.

Two projects – a 71.4MW facility that would be South Carolina's largest and a 10MW array – are expected to enter service in 2017.

Dominion chairman, president and CEO Thomas F. Farrell II said "Dominion is excited to work with a number of partners – including Solvay and South Carolina Gas & Electric – not only to bring additional non-carbon-emitting solar generation to the power grid but also to add to our South Carolina energy infrastructure portfolio.

"We are proud of the work we are doing in South Carolina to help people, electric and gas distribution companies and industry access clean energy."

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said: "Every time a company invests in our state, it shows a commitment to succeeding here, and that couldn't be more important to our people. This investment represents the continuance of a lasting partnership between the State of South Carolina and Dominion."

Dominion's Solvay Solar Energy-Jasper County, S.C., facility, located near Ridgeland, S.C., will occupy nearly 900 acres in Jasper County. South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for the electricity produced at the facility. Solvay – an international chemicals and advanced materials company with U.S. sites, among others, in Charleston, Greenville, Piedmont, Rock Hill and Spartanburg – will purchase all of the associated renewable energy credits (RECs) for 15 years.

Solvay CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu said: "This new agreement will help us reduce our CO2 intensity, one of Solvay's main sustainability goals. It enables the development of additional renewable energy capacity in a region where we have a significant presence and allows us to better serve customer expectations through sustainability."

SCE&G has also signed a PPA on Dominion's 10-megawatt Ridgeland Solar project, on about 80 acres in Ridgeland, S.C., and will retain the RECs.

SCE&G Customer Relations and Renewable Energy vice president Danny Kassis said "SCE&G is excited to be part of building a clean energy future for South Carolina.

"Utility-scale solar represents the least-cost approach to solar energy and provides clean energy for our state. The Jasper County solar projects demonstrate the continuing emergence of solar energy as a resource that can supplement reliable, resilient, and safe service that customers in South Carolina need to grow our economy."

Dominion acquired the two developments from developer Adger Solar in November 2016. Mortenson, a leading national renewable energy company headquartered in Minneapolis, will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor on the projects. Approximately 200 jobs are expected to be created during construction in 2017.

Adger Solar principal Bill Moore said: "Jasper County is showing South Carolina that large-scale solar can be built and sustained in all 46 counties across the Palmetto State.

"Adger Solar has been working in South Carolina since 2014 and we have over a half-dozen large-scale solar projects underway. These projects will provide new jobs to the local communities, tax revenue to the counties and clean power to the citizens and companies of this state. We are pleased to be part of the emerging solar energy industry during this exciting time in South Carolina."

Praise from local and state South Carolina officials

Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said: "South Carolina's renewable energy sector continues to grow by leaps and bounds, providing energy to our citizens while protecting our beautiful natural resources. This new $100m investment will make a big difference in the Lowcountry community, and we congratulate Jasper County on this great announcement." –

"Dominion's investment in alternative energy in Jasper County is an investment in the future for South Carolina. SouthernCarolina Alliance is supportive of diversified energy generation and other solutions that make energy more affordable and reliable to our industries and our residents." – Buddy Phillips, chairman of the SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance

"We are appreciative that Dominion chose Jasper County for this clean energy project, which will bring 200 temporary construction jobs to the county while diversifying our energy generation. Jasper County is proud to be a business-friendly county that attracts cutting-edge alternatives as we grow our energy capacity and our residential and industrial communities." – Martin Sauls, chairman of the Jasper County Council and chairman of the Jasper County Chamber of Commerce

Dominion's energy footprint

The developments announced today would expand Dominion's operating solar fleet to nine states and more than 1,500 megawatts by the end of this year. The company has developed and operates solar generation in neighboring North Carolina and Georgia.  

It also operates Columbia, S.C.-based Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission-regulated, 1,500-mile natural gas interstate transmission system with operations in Georgia and South Carolina – including in Jasper County.

Dominion Southern Operations vice president Daniel A. Weekley said: "Today's announcement by Dominion's power generation segment further solidifies our company's commitment to South Carolina.

"Our continued aim is to develop projects in the Palmetto State to provide cleaner energy to our customers."

Dominion has spent or is spending about $200m since 2015 on Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission expansion projects serving SCE&G; industrial customers such as International Paper, Flakeboard and Wyman Gordon; and the 606-megawatt, gas-fired Columbia Energy Center power generation facility in Gaston, S.C.

The company recently received FERC approval for the Charleston project, which is expected to enter service at the end of 2017.