Appalachian Power eyes 500 MW of wind, solar to meet Virginia mandates

Wind farm in US. Author: Tom. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic

January 5 (Renewables Now) - Appalachian Power, a unit of utility American Electric Power Company Inc (NYSE:AEP), on Tuesday announced plans to buy or contract close to 500 MW of wind and solar power capacity to meet Virginia state laws.

The utility, which has over a million clients in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee, is seeking 294 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) and 204 MW of wind to diversify its power mix over the next three years. The capacity target aligns with 2020 legislation under which it has to file an annual plan with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) outlining how it will meet key goals on the way to becoming 100% carbon-free by 2050.

The objectives set in the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) will be met mainly by investing in wind, solar and energy storage technologies and buying renewable energy certificates (RECs).

The company’s short-term strategy calls for the purchase of a 204-MW wind project in Illinois, which is due to be completed in December 2024, and three solar parks in Virginia – a 150-MW plant in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, a 50-MW project in Berkeley County, West Virginia, and a 4.9-MW scheme in Amherst County, Virginia. Separately, approval is being sought for power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 89 MW of solar from plants in Virginia.

Some 55 MW of solar parks, already in operation or due to be commissioned in the coming months, will support the company as well, on top of the 500-MW plan.

Appalachian Power warned that customer bills are expected to rise with the addition of more renewable. The utility also plans to add battery storage capacity to some of its facilities.

By 2040, Appalachian Power's portfolio will expand with around 3,300 MW of solar, 2,600 MW of energy storage and almost 3,000 MW of wind power additions. Currently, the utility owns only wind and hydropower plants.

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Browse all articles from Veselina Petrova

Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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