Dominion doesn’t deny preparing to charge customers $2B for pipeline construction

Dominion Energy's headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. (© VCU CNS)

Virginia regulators just finished hearing three days of testimony about utilities’ long-term plans across the Commonwealth. Most notably, testimony established that Dominion Energy’s own data show construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would cost Dominion customers around $2 billion.

This was one of several revelations from the annual exercise where utilities like Dominion Energy file their required Integrated Resource Plan with Virginia’s State Corporations Commission. The plans outline Dominion’s expected projects over the next fifteen years, and the justifications for them.

As SELC has pointed out in past years, Dominion’s load forecast is, again, out of line with PJM, the grid operator for the Mid-Atlantic region. Dominion’s inflated demand projections allow it to justify plans for building unnecessary power plants and pipelines, like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion has gone so far as to say the pipeline will save its customers money. This week, SELC presented analysis showing the opposite.

“Using Dominion’s own numbers, our calculations show that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will increase customer costs by between $1.6 and $2.3 billion,” said Senior Attorney Greg Buppert. “Dominion also admitted in the hearing that they have never performed a study of whether they even need the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to keep the lights on.”

Although Dominion has asked the commission to disregard this testimony for purposes of the Integrated Resource Plan proceeding, Dominion has offered no testimony, evidence, or analysis that disputes SELC’s conclusions. Simply put, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will increase customer costs by billions of dollars without bringing any actual benefits.

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