Dominion Sees Way Forward for Powering Data Centers: New Power Lines

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.

10 thoughts on “Dominion Sees Way Forward for Powering Data Centers: New Power Lines

  • 2022-08-09 at 3:12 pm

    “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.”

    Choke on that carbon footprint Greenie dreamers. At 4 people per home, our data centers consume enough power for 2.6M people to live on.

    • 2022-08-10 at 5:15 pm

      That puts things in perspective but remember these data centers power an incredible amount of global commerce, science and social interaction with great efficiency.

  • 2022-08-09 at 3:44 pm

    LoCo BoS spends money like drunken sailors.
    Flatly refuses to diversify income streams.
    Of course Dominion will oblige this idiotic overreliance by destroying Western Loudoun with more overhead transmission lines.

    Vote them out. All of them.
    We deserve better.

  • 2022-08-09 at 3:48 pm

    So Dominion Power basically blackmails the Loudoun BoS to say that all of a sudden they may not have enough power to power all of the data centers unless they can somehow fast track more power stations and lines across the county, which equates to faster access to more profit.

    Of course Dominion Power had enough power. They just told one or several members of the BoS to fast track their expansion plans if they want to keep seeing campaign donations.

  • 2022-08-09 at 10:33 pm

    Great, more ugly towers than we have now. I travel the US a lot and can tell you that in all 50 states, no one despoils the landscape with ugly, poorly planned towers like what Dumbinion does. Case in point, next time you are on Route 7 east near the Wegmans, look at the poorly placed overhead towers. Looks like some third grade class designed them. It could not be uglier and ruins the shopping center visually.

    • 2022-08-10 at 5:20 pm

      I guess all the complainers would rather go back pre-internet times when EVs didn’t exist and shopping centers were so much prettier without power lines.

  • 2022-08-10 at 9:10 am

    Let’s see the map of where these new lines and substations are going to be located.

    • 2022-08-10 at 4:10 pm

      Agree with everyone. Also, the BoS just approved more data centers in the residential area of Arcola. Vite them all out.

  • 2022-08-10 at 9:37 am

    Time to sharpen the arguments for pushing for underground transmission lines or communities like Ashburn village may be getting a whole new line of ionizing radiation emitters including school locations like Farmwell where the kids are exposed for over 6 hours per day. Which politicians are accepting campaign donations from Dominion Power?

  • 2022-08-10 at 12:56 pm

    wouldn’t all the extra electrical capacity be useful to charge all those EVs The Federal Government wants us to purcahse?

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