The Virginia State Corporation Commission has approved cyber and physical security provisions of a proposed “grid transformation plan” submitted by Dominion Energy Virginia (Dominion). It denied, however, other provisions of the plan that it found unsupported by the evidence or where the high costs to customers outweighed any proven benefits. As presented, Dominion’s 10-year plan was projected to cost approximately $6 billion, including financing, to be recovered from its customers.
One of the costlier elements of the plan that the SCC denied was advanced metering infrastructure. Other elements of the plan that were denied include, among other things, grid hardening provisions which involved replacing and rebuilding certain primary electricity line segments. The commission concluded that smart meters and other grid enhancements hold the promise for a true transformation of the grid and for the more efficient consumption of electricity, but “spending billions of dollars of customers’ money on full deployment is reasonable and prudent only if the expenditure is accompanied by a sound and well-crafted plan to fulfill the promise that smart meter technology and other grid enhancements offer.” The ruling allows Dominion to propose such a plan in the future. Re Virginia Electric & Power Co., Case No. PUR-2018-00100, Jan. 17, 2019 (Va.S.C.C.)