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January 20, 2015

Dominion Community Solar (DCS) Pilot FAQs


What is the DCS Pilot?
The DCS Pilot program will enable qualifying customers to voluntarily purchase electric energy from a 2
MW (DC) Dominion-owned solar distributed generation facility in Virginia.
Why is Dominion proposing the pilot program?
The DCS Pilot will provide an option for customers who want to support and purchase electric energy
produced by a solar distributed generation facility but may not have the ability or desire to install solar
generation facilities on their homes or businesses. The pilot will allow Dominion to gather information
about the appeal to customers of a subscription-based solar distributed generation model, which
promotes the development of renewable energy in Virginia.
What are the advantages of Dominion owning and operating the facility?
Dominion can offer a pilot to potential participants that is easily accessible (no credit score qualification,
no capital outlay), convenient (no long term commitment), flexible and customizable (ability to change
subscription level at any time) with high performance standards. The participants will know they are
purchasing solar electric energy from a trusted provider with a long history of delivering safe and
reliable service.
How will the DCS Pilot work?
As proposed, participants would purchase a specified number of DCS Blocks (each representing 100
kWh) of electric energy from a dedicated 2 MW solar DG facility located in the Companys service
territory through a subscription-based program. Customers will have the ability to opt into the pilot
without a long-term commitment during the two-year pilot term. Customer participation will renew
automatically month-to-month, and subscription termination requires only one months notice.
How much does each 100 kWh block cost?
The price for both commercial and residential customers is $4.00 per 100 kWh block and will remain
fixed for the term of the pilot. Each $4.00 block will be an additional amount to a customers bill.
How is the block price determined?
The block price is determined by calculating the cost of the solar energy from the DCS facility then
subtracting certain credits to lower the cost for participating customers. The credits being applied to
offset the cost to the customer are the amount of traditional grid power being replaced and the sale
of the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) associated with the distributed solar generation from the
facility.
Who can participate in the DCS Pilot?
As proposed, the pilot will be available to residential and commercial customers, with the exceptions of
our largest customers, who have an existing option to purchase renewable energy under Schedule RG,
and customers receiving temporary service.
Customers also participating in other Dominion program options, such as net energy metering, the Solar
Purchase Program and the Dominion Green Power program will be eligible to participate in the pilot.

January 20, 2015


Are there limits to how many blocks can be purchased?
Dominion is proposing a maximum of five blocks per month for residential customers and ten blocks per
month for commercial customers to manage the allocation of the 2 MW (DC) solar distributed
generation facilitys electric energy output. For each month under the two-year pilot term, residential
participants can purchase between one and five blocks and non-residential participants can purchase
between one and ten blocks.
If approved by the State Corporation Commission (SCC), when will the pilot be available to customers?
The pilot will begin subscribing customers within 90 days of SCC approval, or when the distributed
generation solar facility is installed and fully operational. Dominion anticipates a Q4 2015 launch.
How long will the DCS Pilot be available?
Dominion is proposing an initial two-year pilot term to evaluate customer interest and efficacy of the
pilot structure. At the end of the pilot term, or sooner depending on customer interest, Dominion may
file for an expansion of the DCS Pilot or approval of a permanent program.
What are the overall benefits of the pilot?
In addition to expanding the range of renewable energy options available to customers, the DCS Pilot
also enhances fuel diversification in Dominions generation portfolio, provides economic benefits such
as job creation and tax revenues and promotes solar energy in Virginia through distributed generation.
What are the participant benefits of the pilot?
The pilot provides customers with a highly flexible option to purchase electric energy from a Dominionowned solar generation facility and to directly support renewable energy generated in Virginia.
Additionally, participants will not have to worry about upfront capital expenditures, ongoing or longterm costs associated with operating and maintaining customer-owned solar generation facilities,
inadequate rooftop conditions or property owner association rules and regulations they may otherwise
have to deal with if installing solar facilities on their own homes or businesses. Commercial customers
who lease their space, but who may not be allowed to install solar facilities in their leased spaces, the
common areas or buildings surrounding their leased spaces, will have an option to purchase distributed
solar generation for some of their electricity needs under the DCS Pilot.
Why is Dominion proposing to restrict participation in the pilot?
By narrowly tailoring the participation restrictions, Dominion can more easily evaluate customer interest
and test the pilot structure before growing the pilot into a full-fledged program. If customer interest
results in reaching pilot capacity within the two-year pilot period, Dominion may seek Commission
approval to expand or modify the program and offer more Dominion solar distributed generation
facilities for voluntary subscription to meet customer interest.
Where will the 2MW solar PV facility be located?
Dominion anticipates that the facility will be a ground-mounted, 2 MW (DC) solar PV distributed
generation facility located in the Companys Virginia service territory. Currently several sites are under
consideration and we expect to have the facility in service by the end of the year.
Will the DCS Pilot impact rates for all customers?
As designed and proposed, the DCS Pilot should not impose additional costs on non-participants.

COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGTNIA
STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION
AT RICHMOND, AUGUST 7, 2015 _ . ^

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:

APPLICATION OF

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VIRGINIA ELECTRIC AND POWER COMPANY

CASE NO. PUE-2015-00005

For approval of a pilot and experimental rate,


designated Rider DCS, to enable customer
purchases of distributed solar generation
pursuant to 56-234 B of the Code ofVirginia

FINAL ORDER
On January 20, 2015, Virginia Electric and Power Company d/b/a Dominion Virginia
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Power ("Dominion Virginia Power" or "Company"), pursuant to 56-234 B of the Code of


Virginia, filed with the State Corporation Commission ("Commission") an application for
approval of the Dominion Community Solar Pilot ("DCS Pilot") and experimental rate,
designated Rider DCS - Dominion Community Solar (Experimental) ("Rider DCS"), to enable
voluntary customer purchases of 100 kilowatt-hour blocks of solar generation from a
Company-owned, 2 megawatt ("MW") direct current distributed solar generation ("Solar DG")
facility sited in Virginia ("Application"). The Company states in its Application that this Solar
DG facility would be constructed under the blanket certificate of public convenience and
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necessity that the Company received in Case No. PUE-2011-00117 to construct and operate up
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to 30 MW of Solar DG facilities in its service territory ("Solar Partnership Program").

Section 56-234 B of the Code ofVirginia provides in part that "...no provision oflaw shall be deemed to preclude
voluntary rate or rate design tests or experiments, or other experiments involving the use of special rates, where such
experiments have been approved by order of the Commission after notice and hearing and a finding that such
experiments are necessary in order to acquire information which is or may be in furtherance of the public interest."
~ Application of Virginia Electric and Power Company, For approval of a Community Solar Power Program andfor
certification ofproposed distributed solar generation facilities pursuant to Chapter 771 of the 2011 Virginia Ads of
Assembly and 56-46.1 and 56-580 D ofthe Code of Virginia, Case No. PUE-2011 -00117, 2012 S.C.C. Ann.
Rept. 328, Order (Nov. 28, 2012).
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Exhibit ("Ex.") I (Application) at 1-2, 15.

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The Application states that the proposed DCS Pilot would allow the Company to assess

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the level of interest of customers who want to support the development of Solar DG in the
Commonwealth, but may not be able or willing to install solar generation facilities on their
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homes or businesses. Dominion Virgmia Power states that the proposed DCS Pilot would
further the Company's ability to study the impacts and assess the benefits to its customers of
Solar DG on the Company's distribution system and would complement the following currently
approved voluntary renewable energy programs: the Solar Partnership Program, the Dominion
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Green Power program, the Solar Purchase Program, and the Renewable Generation Pilot
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Program. Further, the Company believes that the DCS Pilot would advance the policy goals of
Chapter 771 of the 2011 Virginia Acts of Assembly to promote solar energy through distributed
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generation.

On February 9, 2015, the Commission entered an Order for Notice and Hearing, which,
in part, docketed the Application, provided an opportunity for interested persons to file notices of
participation or to comment on the Application, established a procedural schedule, scheduled a
public evidentiary hearing, and appointed a Hearing Examiner to conduct all further proceedings
in this matter on behalf of the Comniission. Notices of participation were filed by Appalachian

* Id. at 2.
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Apptication of Virginia Electric and Power Company d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power, For approval of its
Renewable Energy Tariff, Case No. PUE-2008-00044, 2008 S.C.C. Ami. Rept. 539, Order Approving Tariff,
(Dec. 3, 2008).

Petition of Virginia Electric and Power Company, For approval of a special tariff to faciiilate customer-owned
distributed solar generation pursuant to Chapter 771 of the 2011 Virginia Acts of Assembly, Case No.
PUE-2012-00064, 2013 S.C.C. Ann. Rept. 269, Order (Mar. 22, 2013).
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Ex. I (Application) at 3-5, 6-10; Application ofVirginia Electric and Power Company, For approval to establish a
renewable generation pilot program pursuant to 56-234 of the Code of Virginia, Case No. PUE-2012-00142, 2013
S.C.C. Ann Rept. 346, Final Order (Dec. 16, 2013).
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Ex. 1 (Application) at 3.

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Power Coinpany ("APCo"), the Office of the Attorney General's Division of Consumer Counsel
("Consumer Counsel"), and the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric
Cooperatives ("Association").
On April 2, 2015, Dominion Virginia Power filed the direct testimony of Brett A. Crable,
Nathan J. Frost, and Bonnie P. Horton. On May 19, 2015, the Commission Staff ("Staff') filed
the direct testimony of Britton P. Ellis and Allison F. Samuel. On June 3, 2015, the Company
filed the rebuttal testimony of Brett A. Crable, Nathan J. Frost, and Mark C. Stevens.
On June 15, 2015, Staff filed a Motion for Ruling on Jurisdiction. Dominion Virginia
Power and Consumer Counsel filed responses to the Motion for Ruling on Jurisdiction on
June 19, 2015.
On June 23, 2015, Dominion Virginia Power and Staff filed a Stipulation and
Recommendation ("Stipulation"), which resolved ail issues between Staff and the Company and
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addressed Staffs Motion for Ruling on Jurisdiction. Specifically, the Stipulation states in part
that: (i) Staff and the Company agree to modifications to the Rider DCS tariff language to add
further clarity to the Rider DCS offering; (ii) the Rider DCS revenues will be collected during
the two-year term of the DCS Pilot and the Company will fully amortize such amounts collected
under Rider DCS over the two-year term of the DCS Pilot and include the associated
accumulated amortization balance as a reduction to rate base; (iii) Staff withdraws its Motion for
Ruling on Jurisdiction; (iv) the Company will provide Staff with copies of all marketing and
promotional material prior to its publication for Staffs review; and (v) the Company will provide
updates to the Commission in September of each year of the DCS Pilot.

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The Stipulation was first filed on June 22, 2015, but due to an administrative oversight, two attachments to the
Stipulation were inadvertently not included with the June 22, 2015 filing.
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Ex. 3 (Stipulation) at 1-3.

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The public hearing was convened on June 23, 2015. Counsel for Dominion Virginia

Power, the Association, Consumer Counsel, and Staff attended the hearing." At the conclusion

of the hearing, no party objected to or opposed the Stipulation.

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On July 9, 2015, the Report of Alexander F. Skirpan, Jr., Senior Hearing Examiner
("Hearing Examiner's Report" or "Report") was fded. In his Report, the Hearing Examiner
stated that, "[bjased on the record developed in this proceeding and the unopposed Stipulation, I
find that the Stipulation should be adopted and that the proposed [DCS] Pilot and Rider DCS, as
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modified by the Stipulation, should be approved."

On July 16, 2015, Dominion Virginia Power and Consumer Counsel filed comments on
the Hearing Examiner's Report. Dominion Virginia Power filed comments supporting the
findings and recommendations made in the Hearing Examiner's Report and requesting that the
Commission approve the proposed DCS Pilot and Rider DCS.

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In its comments, Consumer

Counsel stated that it "does not oppose the Company's Application or object to the Stipulation";
however, it "remains concemed that the DCS Pilot, if approved, may not be marketed clearly by
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the Company." More specifically, Consumer Counsel "wishes to ensure that the DCS Pilot will
not be marketed as a solar energy tariff or as an option for customers to purchase electric energy
output from a renewable energy facility."

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NOW THE COMMISSION, upon consideration of this matter, is of the opinion and finds
that the proposed Stipulation is reasonable and should be accepted.
" Prior to the hearing, APCo indicated that it would not be attending the hearing.
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Report at 13.

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Letter of Dominion Virginia Power in Support of Hearing Examiner's Report at 1.

Comments of Consumer Counsel on Hearing Examiner's Report at 1.

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Id

In addition, the Commission finds that Dominion Virginia Power's marketing of the

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DCS Pilot must accurately reflect the DCS tariff provisions approved herein. Specifically, the

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tariff language proposed in the Stipulation, and ordered herein, allows a customer "to purchase a
portion ofthe Customer's energy requirements at a premium price ... to support the development
of additional Company-owned solar distribution generation facilities within Virginia."

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Accordingly, Rider DCS does not, under the express terms thereof, state that the retail customer
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is making a direct purchase of any specific renewable energy output. In order for the DCS
Pilot reasonably to serve the experimental purpose for which it is approved herein, it must be
marketed in accordance with the specific terms of that approval. Further in this regard, we note
that the Stipulation, as ordered herein, directs "that the Cornpany shall provide the Staff with
copies ofall marketing and promotional material prior to its publication for the Staffs review."

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Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT:


(1) The Company's Application for approval of the DCS Pilot and experimental rate,
designated Rider DCS, is granted as set forth herein.
(2) The Stipulation and Recommendation is reasonable and shall be adopted.
(3) The Company shall forthwith file a revised Rider DCS and supporting workpapers
with the Clerk of the Commission and with the Commission's Divisions of Energy Regulation
and Utility Accounting and Finance, as is necessary to comply with the directives set forth in this

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See Stipulation at Attachment 1.

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As noted by Consumer Counsel, the Commission has also previously distinguished between (i) the direct purchase
of renewable energy, and (ii) the purchase of attributes associated with renewable energy. See Application of
Appalachian Power Company, For approval ofits Renewable Power Rider, Case No. PUE-2008-00057,
2008 S.C.C. Ann. Rept. 557, Order Approving Tariff (Dec. 3, 2008) (distinguishing between a retail customer's
(i) direct purchase of electric energy from a renewable facility, and (ii) purchase of renewable energy credits
procured from a renewable facility).
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See Stipulation at 2-3.

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Final Order. The Clerk of the Commission shall retain such filings for public inspection in

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person and on the Commission's website: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/case.


(4) Rider DCS, as approved herein, shall become effective on the first day of the month:
(a) after the 2 MW Solar DG facility is installed and becomes fully operational, or (b) within
ninety (90) days after the date of this Final Order, whichever is later.
(5) This docket shall remain open for the purpose of receivingftiturefilings and reports.
AN ATTESTED COPY hereof shall be sent by the Clerk of the Commission to all
persons on the official Service List in this matter. The Service List is available from the Clerk of
the State Corporation Commission, c/o Document Control Center, 1300 East Main Street, First
Floor, Tyler Building, Richmond, Virginia 23219. A copy shall also be sent to the Commission's
Office of General Counsel and Divisions of Energy Regulation and Utility Accounting and
Finance.

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