Dulles breaks ground on milestone renewable energy project

Officials from Dominion Energy and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) were joined by federal, state and local leaders on Tuesday to break ground on the Dulles Solar and Storage project at Dulles International Airport.

Once completed, it will be the largest renewable energy project ever developed at a US airport, capable of generating up to 100 megawatts (MW) of solar energy and storing up to 50MW of power – enough clean energy to power more than 37,000 Virginia homes at peak output.

All the energy produced will serve Dominion Energy Virginia customers.

By pairing emissions-free renewables with the growing benefits of energy storage, the project is an important part of Dominion Energy’s ‘all of the above’ strategy to reliably serve customers with increasingly clean energy.

“This is an exciting moment for the future of clean, reliable energy, not only for Virginia but for the entire nation,” said Bob Blue, chair, president and CEO of Dominion Energy.

“Thanks to our strong partnership with MWAA, millions of travellers flying in and out of Dulles every year will see this powerful symbol of the clean energy transition.

“Just as air travellers can always count on Dulles to reach their destination, our customers can always count on us to deliver reliable and increasingly clean energy.”

While Jack Potter, president and CEO of MWAA, said: “This partnership will result in the largest renewable energy project ever developed at a US airport.

“It’s just one of many ways the airports authority is constantly working to be a good steward of the environment.

“We look forward to working with Dominion Energy to help provide emission-free electricity to serve the growing energy needs of the Dulles community and the National Capital Region.”

Senator, Mark Warner, enthused: “This groundbreaking marks the beginning of a historic achievement – a first-of-its-kind renewable energy project at a major US airport.

“I’m hopeful this partnership will serve as a model for future renewable energy projects across the country, paving the way for a greener, energy-independent future.

“With additional federal investments in clean energy made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act, I’m confident that Virginia will continue to lead the way in innovative clean energy production.”

The partnership includes a first-of-its-kind lease agreement that will further advance renewables and electric vehicles at Dulles.

Instead of annual lease payments to MWAA, Dominion Energy will develop two 1MW solar carports that will partially power Dulles facilities, and provide 18 electric transit buses, 50 electric fleet vehicles and electric vehicle charging stations for Dulles operations.

The project will be developed across 835 acres located in the southwest corner of Dulles International Airport. Construction will begin in late 2023 and is expected to be complete by late 2026.

In addition to renewable energy and clean transportation, the project will bring significant economic benefits to Loudoun County and the broader region. Construction of the project will support more than 300 jobs and $200 million in economic activity.

The project received final approval earlier this year after an extensive, multi-year review by the US Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration and Virginia State Corporation Commission, among other state and federal agencies.

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