In a significant stride toward sustainable energy solutions, Dominion Energy and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) have ceremoniously broken ground on the groundbreaking Dulles Solar and Storage project at Dulles International Airport. With federal, state, and local leaders in attendance, the project aims to establish the largest renewable energy initiative ever undertaken at a U.S. airport.
The ambitious endeavor will harness solar power to generate up to an impressive 100 megawatts (MW) of energy, coupled with energy storage capabilities of up to 50 MW. This substantial clean energy production will be adequate to supply the energy needs of more than 37,000 homes in Virginia during peak output periods. All the generated energy is destined to benefit Dominion Energy Virginia customers.
Dominion Energy’s holistic approach, dubbed the ‘all of the above’ strategy, underscores its commitment to supplying its customers with progressively cleaner and more reliable energy. By combining emission-free renewable sources with cutting-edge energy storage technologies, the Dulles Solar and Storage project exemplifies a pivotal element of this forward-looking strategy.
Bob Blue, President, and CEO of Dominion Energy, has expressed enthusiasm about the venture’s potential impact. “This is an exciting moment for the future of clean, reliable energy, not only for Virginia but for the entire nation,” he asserted. Blue highlighted the symbiotic partnership with MWAA and how the monumental renewable energy installation will be seen by the millions of travelers passing through Dulles International Airport each year.
Jack Potter, the President and CEO of MWAA, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the initiative’s significance as the largest renewable energy initiative ever embarked upon at a U.S. airport. He stated, “It’s just one of many ways the Airports Authority is constantly working to be a good steward of the environment.” The project’s aspiration to deliver emission-free electricity in service of the Dulles community and the broader National Capital Region underscores MWAA’s commitment to environmental responsibility.
Senator Mark Warner hailed the groundbreaking as a historic achievement and a potential template for future renewable energy endeavors across the nation. “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,” Senator Warner affirmed. He pointed to the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act as catalysts for further federal investments in clean energy.
A unique aspect of this partnership is the innovative lease agreement that fosters renewables and electric vehicle integration at Dulles. Instead of conventional lease payments, Dominion Energy will construct two 1 MW solar carports to partially power airport facilities, alongside providing 18 electric transit buses, 50 electric fleet vehicles, and EV charging stations for airport operations.
The sprawling project will span 835 acres within the southwest corner of Dulles International Airport. Construction is slated to commence in late 2023 and anticipates completion by late 2026. Beyond its contributions to renewable energy and sustainable transport, the project is set to inject a substantial economic boost into Loudoun County and the broader region, generating over 300 jobs and an estimated $200 million in economic activity during the construction phase.
This visionary project secured final approvals following an exhaustive review by various key bodies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, and Virginia State Corporation Commission, in addition to other state and federal agencies. With its momentous implications for the renewable energy landscape, the Dulles Solar and Storage project stands as a testament to the potential of collaboration and innovation in driving cleaner, more sustainable energy practices.