Virginia Regulator Approves Dominion Energy Cyber and Physical Security Modernization Plans

SCC Order
January 17th, 2019 Virginia SCC Order

Source: State Corporation Commission of Virginia

The State Corporation Commission of Virginia dined most of Dominion Energy Virginia’s bid to modernize its electric power grid, deeming it to costly to ratepayers.

However, the SCC approved $154.5 million in improved physical security and cybersecurity for Dominion’s power operation.

The plan, which was proposed in July, would cost $3 billion over 10 years, but the SCC estimated the lifetime cost of the plan to ratepayers would be closer to $6 billion.

The commission did find a rare opportunity to praise for the cyber and physical security elements of the plan.

The SCC is an independent commission established in the Virginia Constitution to oversee public utilities, banks and insurance companies.

Also rejected in the order was the company’s proposal for “hardening” the power grid by rebuilding distribution lines and creating new ways to prevent trees from crowding them. The commission estimated the cost at $486.1 million, including financing expenses, for the first phase and $3 billion over 10 years.

The commission said Dominion had failed to show how those investments justify the costs, citing the company’s estimate that it would spend almost $268 million, not including financing, to eliminate 5 minutes a year of disruption for each of its customers.

The order allows for Dominion to resubmit a revised proposal that addresses its concerns.

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