Internet Giants Reject Dominion’s Plan for More Fossil Fuels in Virginia

May 8, 2019

Internet Giants Reject Dominion’s Plan for More Fossil Fuels in Virginia

Joint Letter Calls for Investment in Renewable Energy

Richmond, VA, May 8 — At Dominion Energy’s integrated resource plan hearings in Virginia today, cloud computing and internet giants delivered a letter demanding the company shift away from planned investment in natural gas infrastructure and instead invest in renewable energy and energy storage capacity to meet growing data center energy demand in the state.

Greenpeace Senior IT Sector Analyst Gary Cook said, in response to the letter:

“Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and other tech giants have now clearly and publicly rejected Dominion’s plan to meet their energy needs with fracked gas through the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. These tech companies and their customers are demanding the utility focus instead on renewable energy solutions. This pipeline has been rejected by the public, the courts, and now the very customers Dominion claimed it was for.”

As Greenpeace documented in Clicking Clean Virginia report in February, Dominion Energy has relied heavily on growing electricity demand from Virginia’s “Data Center Alley” to justify further fossil fuel investments, including the construction of the $7B Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Yet today some of their largest customers, including Amazon and Microsoft, have stated unequivocally they do not want their demand to be met with more fossil fuel projects, asking regulators to instead direct the utility to invest in renewables and storage.  According to Greenpeace estimates, the ten companies that submitted the letter today represent over  50% of the more than 4GW of data center electricity demand projected in Virginia.

The letter was delivered today at a hearing of Virginia’s State Corporation Commision (SCC) on Dominion Energy’s resubmitted Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) outlining the utilities plan for meeting electricity demand in the state over the next decade.  The SCC rejected Dominion’s IRP for the first time in December.

Cook continued:

“Virginia regulators should again reject Dominion Energy’s climate-destroying plan and send the company back to the drawing board with clear instructions to finally deliver a plan that will power Virginia with 100% renewable energy. The planet, the future, and now Dominion’s largest customers have clearly demanded they want a different way forward than what the company has proposed.

“The rapid growth of data centers in Virginia will continue to drive demand for more dirty energy, and more climate change if Dominion’s energy plan and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline goes forward.  Tech companies are starting to realize they must break Dominion’s stranglehold on energy decisions in Virginia if they are going to the energy supply needed to build a renewably powered internet.”

The letter was submitted today on behalf of the companies by CERES. Read the letter here:

Contacts:

Greenpeace

Gary Cook, 202.297.2370, gary.cook@greenpeace.org

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