Dominion Energy says it has made progress on powering new Ashburn data centers, after previously warning the utility may not be able to serve them for years to come.
That will mean new substations and new power lines coming to Loudoun ahead of schedule.
“Over the last few weeks, we’ve made progress on near-term solutions to reduce the constraints. We are developing a path forward that will allow us to begin resuming some new data center connections in a matter of weeks,” said Dominion Media Relations Manager Aaron Ruby “Additionally, we will soon announce the first of several transmission line projects that will allow more new connections over the long term.”
Dominion CEO Bob Blue also addressed the news at length during an Aug. 8 earnings call. He said Dominion has seen Loudoun data centers’ demand for electricity grow even faster over the past year.
According to Blue, Dominion has connected close to 70 data centers with over 2.6 gigawatts of capacity in Northern Virginia since 2019, equivalent to powering more than 650,000 homes. He said data centers count for about 20% of the company’s sales in Virginia.
Last year, he said, the growth accelerated by orders of magnitude, driven by the number of data centers planned, their growing size, and their faster schedules to reach full capacity. Seeing that, PJM Interconnection, the company that coordinates power transmission across Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and parts of several other states, revised its energy demand forecasts upward.
As an example, he said in 2027 alone, the demand from data centers is expected to grow by another 2.6 gigawatts—or the entire capacity of Dominion’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, the company’s $9.8 billion project to build 142 wind turbines 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.
To prepare for the continuing growth in demand, Dominion will accelerate plans for new transmission lines and substations in Loudoun.
“Based on the work and outreach done to date, it is clear that we will be able to resume new connections in the near term, but how much and how quickly is still being determined,” Blue said. “The longer-term solution will absolutely require additional transmission infrastructure to be built. Among the needed additional infrastructure are two new 500kV transmission lines into eastern Loudoun County.”
He said the company is working with PJM, the State Corporation Commission, and local officials to fast-track those new power lines. He said the company has already submitted plans for a new transmission line, planned to come online in 2026, to PJM and plans to file with the SCC in a matter of weeks.