The growth of data centers is outrunning the ability of Dominion to serve all the new facilities. However, the answer is NOT to allow data centers to exceed emissions limits for their backup diesel generators; the answer is to incent them to install on-site solar and battery storage and to rely on clean, renewable energy sources. If we don’t require data centers to make provisions for clean on-site energy generation, but instead give them a “buy” to ignore sensible regulations addressed at protecting public health and the environment, the “grid emergency” will simply continue - and even worsen - year after year, at the cost of subjecting surrounding communities to an unacceptable level of air pollution at what is already the time of year with the worst air quality, and subjecting the rest of us to increased emissions and further deterioration of the environment.
We are in a climate emergency and our actions must reflect that fact. Please do not issue this variance.