First, thanks for the opportunity to comment. I have always believed that a mix of electric power generation sources is the best for our country and that low cost energy is key to a strong economy. Any transition to a higher dependance on renewables must be done methodically (and slowly). Renewable cannot be “base load” without some type of storage to allow 24 hour/day supply. Otherwise there needs to be additional generation to make up power needs when the sun isn’t shining and/or the wind isn’t blowing. Adequate storage facilities (e.g., battery banks) should be considered in the real cost of renewables. Also, any factual look at the land use required for renewables to be a substantial part of our energy supply reveals this is not a realistic option. Dominion power’s record demand peak required over 20 gigawatts. At 15 watts per square foot this equates to over 30,000 acres of solar panels. Additionally, solar panels have (at best) a 50% annual capacity factor (sunshine half the day).
So, replacing some of our fossil power generation capacity with renewable must be done in a way that makes it a true 24hr/day source, which would likely raise our power costs substantially. It should be limited.
Finally, I am a staunch supporter of nuclear power. I worked in the nuclear industry for over 40 years. I held many positions, from licensed reactor operator in the control room to vice-president responsible for all operations and support activities at my plant. I worked in management or executive positions at 5 nuclear plants, and visited several others in an evaluation mode. I found nuclear power to be clean, safe and reliable. We are fortunate to have four good performing plants in Virginia. We should keep them running and consider additional nuclear generation.
Again, thanks for the opportunity to comment.