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Dominion Energy: Future is Solar Power & Natural Gas

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Dominion Energy Virginia's latest long-term power forecast calls for an increase in solar generation as well as the construction of at least eight new natural gas-fired power plants.

Virginia's largest utility laid out its plans Tuesday in a regulatory filing called an integrated resource plan. The plan is intended to show how the company will meet customer needs and comply with regulations over a 15-year span.

It outlines a nearly 50 percent increase in projected solar generation over last year's forecast. Company executives who discussed the plan with The Associated Press say solar power has becoming increasingly affordable.

The plan also envisions the likely retirement of a number of coal- and oil-fired power plants and the continued use of Virginia's four existing nuclear units.

The Sierra Club Virginia Chapter criticized the plan, saying the company isn't moving away from fossil fuels quickly enough.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.