Dominion moving further into solar with 79 MW project in North Carolina

Yesterday Virginia’s Dominion furthered its moves into the North Carolina solar market with plans to buy 79 MW solar project from developer Cypress Creek Renewables. The project is already under construction on 550 acres of land near Morven, North Carolina.

Dominion expects to finalize the acquisition when the plant is complete, which is expected some time in the next two months. This will add to the 535 MW of solar that the company already has under development or in operation.

The announcement comes less than one week after Dominion’s Virginia utility arm presented a long-term plan to state regulators under which it plans to sign contracts for 950 MW of solar in North Carolina owned by third-party developers.

The 79 MW plant near Morven has a power contract, but Dominion declined to identify the off-taker, or to state whether or not the contract was signed under the auspices of the Public Utilities Regulatory Power Act of 1978 (PURPA). PURPA mandates that utilities buy power from independent power producers if they can match a calculation of what the utility would otherwise pay for power, and has been a main driver of North Carolina’s solar market.