Dominion Energy’s journey to 1 Gigawatt

By Stan Blackwell,Director, Customer Solutions & Strategic
Partnerships, Dominion Energy

A recently completed Dominion Energy solar facility in Virginia

Published in the Second Issue | JUNE 20, 2019

POWERING THE INTERNET:
WHO IS DOMINION ENERGY?

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Dominion Energy is among the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy. It has 31,000 megawatts of electric generation; 106,400 miles of natural gas gathering, storage, transmission and distribution pipeline; and 93,600 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines, nearly 7.5 million utility and retail energy customers across multiple states. In Virginia, Dominion Energy’s robust transmission and distribution systems have been critical to the growth and success of the data center industry

In the early 1990s, Dominion Energy began responding to requests for power from both fiber and enterprise data centers. Today, Dominion Energy is one of the world’s largest and most progressive providers of energy to data centers. With a data center services team of seasoned professionals including design, engineering and construction experts, it provides a single point of contact and streamlined connect process for its customers.

The backbone of Virginia’s data center industry is Dominion Energy’s robust 500kV transmission system, the first of its kind in the U.S. As data centers continue to expand in Virginia, and loads continue to increase, Dominion Energy is charged with providing safe, reliable, and affordable energy. Ashburn’s data center cluster is served from multiple 230kV transmission networks, which “tap off” the 500kV backbone at multiple locations in Northern Virginia. This 230kV network provides redundancy to Dominion Energy substations throughout the region as each substation is sourced from multiple 230kV circuits. This robust transmission system provides flexible, timely and scalable capacity distribution.

TIME TO MARKET

Data center operators in Ashburn are constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to speed to market and construction innovation. Aggressive construction timelines drive Dominion Energy to continuously build power infrastructure to keep up with demand. The power infrastructure in this market is unlike anywhere else in the world and is essential to supporting the continued growth of the industry. Dominion Energy serves its customers via a 34.5 kV power distribution system fed from its transmission system. This high voltage distribution system allows the company to remain nimble in the ever-changing market and supports creative “bridging power” solutions to feed sites concurrently with larger infrastructure builds. The Dominion Energy engineering team works hard to develop technical solutions that meet customer connect timeframes.

“Dominion Energy is committed to meeting the needs of our data center customers. Our streamlined connect process reduces time-to-market and ensures customer facilities are up and running safely, quickly, and reliably,”

says Stan Blackwell.

SITE SELECTION

Available land in Northern Virginia has become a growing concern. Dominion Energy’s data center services team works diligently with state and local officials, local and national real estate professionals, and prospective customers to evaluate properties suitable for development, and works with property owners to plan and develop the necessary infrastructure to enable viable data center sites

Stan Blackwell & Keith Windle