RD283 - Dominion Energy’s Economic Development Report – December 1, 2019

Executive Summary:

The passage of the Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018 (GTSA) represented an historic moment for energy policy in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The legislation will strengthen grid security, encourage the incorporation of more renewable sources of energy into the existing electrical grid, and allow the Commonwealth’s economy to continue to have the affordable and reliable energy it needs to continue growing in the years ahead.

With a clear focus on the future of energy security, reliability, transmission and generation in the Commonwealth, the legislation also directed Dominion Energy, as a Phase II utility operating within the state, to prepare a report addressing the company’s work to support economic development efforts in the Commonwealth. Specifically, the legislation mandates:

“That each Phase I Utility and each Phase II Utility, as such terms are defined in subdivision A1 of § 56-585.1 of the Code of Virginia, shall investigate and report upon its economic development activities and assistance provided to Virginia localities in the area of economic development in each utility’s respective service area. Such report shall include discussion of any existing economic rate incentives, the use thereof, and recommendations for changes of such economic rate incentives, if any; any electrical equipment discounts for economic development purposes; any ongoing support for the development of new economic development sites, including determining the energy infrastructure and permitting requirements in advance of an end-user locating on the site, and providing marketing assistance and promotion of validated sites; any direct assistance to localities in their economic development efforts, including responses to requests for information and proposals for economic development prospects; and any resources and personnel devoted to such economic development efforts. The report shall include a discussion of underserved areas, particularly in rural areas of the Commonwealth, together with suggestions for enhancing economic development assistance in such rural areas. The report shall also provide recommendations for the enhancement of economic development activities in each utility’s respective service area, including a discussion of requirements to provide electric services to business-ready sites in advance of identifying a user for such sites. Each utility shall report to the Governor, the State Corporation Commission, and the Chairmen of the House and Senate Commerce and Labor Committees on December 1, 2018."

The following is that report. It is the result of a comprehensive process taking place over a number of months, incorporating input from stakeholders, businesses, customers, local and state economic development officials, interest groups and others.

The report also includes a thorough review of Dominion Energy’s work on economic development in prior years, and a look at policies and practices that could help generate further job creation in the company’s service areas going forward.