Amidst backlash over its renewable energy portfolio, Dominion Energy is one of the 20 organizations that have partnered with Southside Virginia Community College to launch the SHINE – Solar Hands-On Instructional Network of Excellence.
The program aims to teach and train students to be better equipped in the growing demand for renewable energy-related jobs. The inaugural class recently graduated, and the hands-on training program will link graduates with potential employers in the solar energy field.
“We have a strong history of creating job opportunities across Virginia. Many of those jobs now support the Commonwealth’s transition to a clean-energy future,” said Matt Kellam, military and recruitment program coordinator at Dominion Energy. Kellam is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps Reserves and chairperson of the Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium. “As we continue to build wind and solar projects, we are also creating new opportunities for workers in Virginia.”
The move comes as the company faces tremendous backlash after adding one of its Virginia powerplants to its renewable energy portfolio amidst the fact that the said plant runs majorly on burning fossil fuels.
Last week, Virginia’s largest utility, Dominion, finally allowed regulators to remove one of its power plants located in southern Virginia from its renewable energy portfolio. The renewable energy portfolio is supposed to give environmentally conscious consumers an idea which of the utility providers are working primarily on renewable sources and guides them on their consumption. However, it was found out that while the plant in question used biofuel, the majority of its operations rely on burning fossil fuel. In a statement, Dominion said that amidst this fact, the plant is still the cleanest fossil fuel plant in the country.
The Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center “is, in fact, one of the cleanest-burning coal plants in the country,” Dominion Energy lawyer Joseph Reid contended early in State Corporation Commission hearings on the proposal Thursday. “But we hear the concerns; the company hears the concerns of interveners that having a co-fired fossil fuel plant in the portfolio could conceivably diminish customer interest.”