Putting Virginia on the Solar Map: New Program Brings Solar to Old Dominion University

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Dominion Virginia Power dedicates a new solar installation at Old Dominion university. The installation makes use of a solar partnership program approved last year, which allows Dominion to lease rooftops where it installs solar systems.

Dominion Virginia Power, along with Old Dominion University (ODU), recently dedicated a new solar installation on the roof of ODU’s student recreation center. This installation is the first of its kind in the Hampton Roads area.

Last May, Dominion selected the university to be one of the first participants in the company’s solar partnership program under which Dominion builds and operates solar facilities on leased rooftops. This program is the main reason Virginia has been ranked as a hidden growth market for solar.

“ODU is a good fit for this program as it continues to pave the way for alternative energy research at the university level in the Commonwealth,” said Ken Barker, vice president of customer solutions at Dominion. “This project will undoubtedly provide both community and educational benefits.”

More than 600 panels were installed on the roof of the recreation center. They will generate about 125 KW of electricity, which is enough to supply the energy needs for an equivalent of 31 homes.

Barker added, “Our new program allows us to integrate solar power into our diverse mix of resources to ensure reliable electricity. Solar energy will be a source of generation moving forward, and we hope to add 20 to 30 new solar installations over the next several years.”

“With Dominion’s generous support over the years, our university’s development of solar technology and groundbreaking PV energy research has been recognized nationally,” said John R. Broderick, president of Old Dominion University. “Thanks to more than $3 million in research grants from a variety of sources, including Dominion Virginia Power, Dr. Sylvain Marsillac and his team have been able to further this research by testing solar energy concepts on the rooftops of Kaufman Hall, the student recreation center and more.”

The solar partnership program was approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission in November 2012. PowerSecure (NYSE:POWR), a North Carolina-based company with offices in Virginia, was chosen as the engineering, procurement, and construction company to complete the project. Under the program, Dominion will construct and operate up to 30 MW of company-owned solar facilities on leased rooftops or on the grounds of commercial businesses and public properties throughout the company’s Virginia service area. When fully implemented, the program will generate enough electricity for up to 7,500 homes.