Our customers count on Dominion Energy to provide them with the services they want, when they want them. So we’re building new infrastructure, upgrading existing infrastructure, and inspecting and maintaining equipment.
To provide safe, reliable, sustainable and affordable energy for our customers. We do this by deploying advanced technology to monitor and enhance grid flexibility, consistently inspecting and maintaining existing equipment, investing in renewable energy technologies and infrastructure, and using this approach to restore power faster and more safely when it goes out, minimizing inconvenience for customers. And when people have trouble paying for electricity, we find ways to help.
How We Performed:
We have invested more than $520 million in more than 30 projects to upgrade the grid in Virginia and North Carolina with large, high-voltage transmission wires and equipment. We have buried nearly 1,000 miles of overhead tap lines. We annually inspect 25 percent of Dominion Energy electric equipment housed in customer-owned vaults to ensure it is working properly. To date EnergyShare, our energy assistance program, has helped more than 820,000 families and individuals and weatherized 22,000 homes.
Where We’re Headed:
In July, 2018, Dominion Energy announced a major new undertaking aimed at greening the grid and enhancing electric reliability. The 10-year grid transformation project, made possible by Virginia’s 2018 Grid Transformation & Security Act (GTSA), will substantially increase renewable investments, provide for almost $1 billion in energy efficiency improvements, and better accommodate renewable energy from multiple sources. To improve reliability, it will include intelligent grid devices, smart meters and automated control systems that will enable a “self-healing” grid, which will speed the restoration process during outages by quickly identifying and isolating the causes. Dominion Energy has made a commitment of $130 million to help customers in need from 2018-2028 through the EnergyShare program.
For our electric customers, it all begins with delivering power whenever our customers want it. To achieve that goal, we deploy advanced technology to monitor and enhance grid flexibility. We consistently inspect and maintain equipment to prevent the power from going out – and to restore it quickly and safely on those rare occasions when it does, so customers experience the least possible inconvenience. Customers shouldn’t have to worry about whether the lights will come on. That’s why we also operate programs such as EnergyShare to ease the strain of those facing financial difficulties.
Here’s what we’ve done to ensure the reliability of the electrical grid:
We have invested more than $520 million on more than 30 projects to upgrade the energy grid in Virginia and North Carolina with large, high-voltage transmission wires and equipment. Some of those projects focused on rebuilding a 96-mile section of the company’s original 500-kV line from West Virginia to Maryland that serves as the backbone of the mid-Atlantic energy grid. The upgrade increased the line’s capacity by two-thirds, which bolstered reliability and provided additional capacity for energy flow during periods of heavy use. It includes one of the largest electric transmission projects in our 100-year history.
We have buried nearly 1,000 miles of overhead tap lines – the smaller, neighborhood-level wires that bring electricity directly into your home. To determine which overhead lines should be placed underground, we rely on extensive data analysis, evaluating 10 years of outage information. We expect these measures to reduce the time it takes to restore service for all customers after a major storm by as much as 50 percent.
We annually inspect 25 percent of Dominion Energy electric equipment housed in customer-owned vaults to ensure it is working properly. If it does not, it could affect reliability for the customers and could result in a release of oil, so the inspection makes sure that these structures have the appropriate oil spill prevention measures in place.
Those highlights don’t cover the many other efforts we make to sustain and improve power delivery – from replacing transformers and adding utility poles to installing new switches and sensors.
In July, 2018, Dominion Energy announced a major new undertaking aimed at enhancing electric security even further.
The 10-year grid transformation project, made possible by Virginia’s 2018 Grid Transformation & Security Act (GTSA), will include intelligent grid devices, smart meters, and automated control systems that will enable a “self-healing” grid, which will speed the restoration process during outages by quickly identifying and isolating the causes.
New construction and material standards will improve grid resiliency and reduce outages caused by weather and other events. The company also will take additional measures, such as hardening substations that serve critical facilities, to protect the grid against the growing threat of both physical and cyber-attacks. Other provisions of the GTSA reinforce efforts by Dominion Energy to place more vulnerable and outage-prone distribution lines underground.
To operate, maintain, upgrade and build infrastructure that transports clean, American natural gas from its natural formations and from renewable sources to the homes, businesses, fleets and power stations that rely on it. Dominion Energy’s natural gas companies offer among the nation’s most flexible and reliable delivery options. Upgrading this infrastructure makes service more reliable while reducing greenhouse gases such as methane.
How We Performed:
We have spent more than $1.4 billion so far to replace more than 1,600 miles of transmission and distribution pipe in Ohio, where we serve approximately 1.3 million customers. In Utah and Wyoming, all cast iron and bare steel pipe has been replaced. We have spent more than $.5 billion in our Utah service territory, where we serve more than 1 million customers. Additionally, we have spent $49 million for upgrades in West Virginia and $11 million for replacement projects in Wyoming. We respond to all reported gas emergencies, and are on site within 60 minutes 98 percent of the time. And we have begun construction of the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline in parts of North Carolina and West Virginia to bring American natural gas to people and businesses in new markets that don’t have enough, to increase grid reliability, to support the conversion of coal-fired generation to cleaner fuels and to support the expansion of renewable energy.
Where We’re Headed:
We will continue to upgrade our distribution system to provide reliable and safe service to our natural gas customers.
Natural Gas Reliability
Reliability is equally important to our gas customers. Delivering clean, American natural gas without fail depends on many of the same strategies we use to ensure electricity reliability.
In Ohio we are in the process of replacing approximately 5,600 miles of bare steel mains since 2008 to enhance safety and reduce methane emissions. We are planning to reduce methane emissions by investing $200 million or more annually, as authorized, over the next two decades to upgrade existing bare steel, cast iron, wrought iron, and copper pipe in our Ohio pipeline system — expanding on the $1.4 billion investment we already have made to replace more than 1,600 miles of pipeline in the Buckeye State.
Following the recent approval by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, Dominion Energy’s companies invested $49 million for distribution pipeline upgrades in that state. In 2018, we followed that with a $95 million investment to replace gas delivery infrastructure in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho. Keeping our pipelines in first-rate condition helps us meet high customer expectations. But we don’t stop there.