Smith Mountain Dam is a hydroelectric power plant owned by Appalachian Power.

Appalachian Power filed its 2017 Integrated Resource Plan with the Virginia State Corporation Commission on Monday, providing a forecast for how the company plans to meet demand in the commonwealth over the next 15 years. It reported it will continue to rely on existing coal, natural gas and hydro generation plants and renewable energy contracts, while increasing large-scale or “universal” solar and wind energy, and energy efficiency programs.

The plan includes the addition of 500 megawatts of universal solar energy and 1,350 megawatts of wind energy by 2031. Appalachian also wants to add 10 megawatts of battery storage in 2025. It will be creating and implementing energy efficiency programs aimed at reducing 203 megawatts of electricity by 2031. The company also expects 123 megawatts of rooftop solar energy to come from customers in the next 15 years.

With its focus on renewable resources, Appalachian will still continue its operation of existing coal and gas-fueled power plants and plans to close down natural gas-powered plants Clinch River Units 1 and 2 in 2026. The company already draws power from hydroelectric plants, such as Smith Mountain Dam, and plans to continue using these facilities in the coming years.

“This plan continues Appalachian Power’s power generation philosophy of delivering reliable power at a reasonable price to our customers through a diversified portfolio of resources,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian’s president and CEO. “We will continue to be primarily a coal-fueled company, but based on lowering costs and growing customer expectations there will be an increasing contribution of renewable resources in our future energy mix.”

The state corporation commission will schedule a public hearing for Appalachian’s Integrated Resource Plan. The complete filing may be found on the SCC website: www.scc.virginia.gov/case. Appalachian files its plan to Virginia annually.

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee, and is a unit of American Electric Power.

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