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Coalition Calls On Dominion Power To Shift To Renewable Sources

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In just a few days, Dominion Virginia Power must lay out its 15-year plan for providing power to Virginia residents for state leaders. But this week a coalition of environmental groups is calling out the utility for favoring fossil fuels over renewable resources.

The coalition, which includes the Sierra Club the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, hired three independent consultants to analyze Dominion's Integrated Resource plan. The consultants found that nearly two thirds of Dominion's energy comes from coal, natural gas, or oil-fired plants, and that the company does not plan to retire any additional coal-fired plants after those already set for retirement in 2015.

The consultants propose their own 15-year plan for Dominion—calling for the company to invest more in solar, land-based and offshore wind projects—all cleaner and more efficient than the new natural gas plants the company has in the works.

Dominion spokesman Dan Genest says the coalition's input is welcome, but that its proposals could result in higher costs for consumers.

"It seems to us that what the coalition is proposing is energy production their way at any cost. They don't seem to care that millions of Virginians can't afford the programs they advocate," he says.

Genest also points out that Dominion is leading the charge for offshore wind power in Virginia, and says the company will be bidding at next week's federal auction of offshore wind sites along Virginia's coastline.

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