President (Dominion Energy Virginia)
Ed Baine, president of Dominion Energy Virginia, is currently overseeing the company’s critical effort to provide customers with safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy. The company is developing the largest offshore wind project in the United States, growing its solar and energy storage portfolio, pursuing license extensions of four nuclear units, and enhancing the energy grid to not only be more resilient and reliable but also provide better service.
The transformational period at the Richmond, Virginia-based company is in many ways reflective of the journey of its president. Baine has risen through many positions over the past twenty-six years, continuing to accrue new responsibilities before ultimately finding himself at the helm of the company’s largest segment.
It’s a long way to climb from the Lunenburg County tobacco farm on which Baine was raised, a farm that had originally been part of a 2,000-acre plantation. Two-hundred acres were eventually purchased by his grandfather and siblings and turned into a family business.
“What I learned very early was that no one can be successful alone,” Baine remembers. “We were in a place where no one had much, so people had to help each other. To this day, our family lives by the Bible verse [Luke 12:48] ‘To whom much is given, much will be required.’”
Big Clean Energy
One of the highlights of Baine’s leadership during Dominion Energy Virginia is the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project, which is located twenty-seven miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The Project Construction Group expects to complete CVOW in 2026. The clean, sustainable energy of the 180 projected turbines will power up to 660,000 homes, annually bypassing as much as 5 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Ed Baine Dominion Energy
Ed Baine, Dominion Energy Virginia
Courtesy of Dominion Energy
In conjunction with solar projects, the complementary resources will line up with wind and solar energy production peaking at different times of the day and during the year.
Dominion Energy is also growing its energy storage efforts and working to make sure the four nuclear units in Virginia continue to provide zero-carbon energy. Work is underway to enhance the energy grid to meet customer needs.
“It’s an exciting time to be in our industry, within the Commonwealth of Virginia in particular,” Baine says. “We always talk about being better tomorrow than we are today, and since there have been more changes in the industry in the past five years than probably the previous twenty, there is never a shortage of ideas and projects to think about how we can constantly improve the customer experience and our operations.”
When Baine speaks of changes at Dominion Energy, the scale is immense. In September 2021, the company acquired the 20-megawatt Dry Bridge Energy Storage project in Chesterfield County. It is expected to go live in 2022 and will be capable of powering five thousand homes at peak usage.
It’s just one of eleven recently proposed new solar and energy storage projects, and if approved by state regulators, the entire rollout would produce more than 1,000 megawatts of solar power and energy storage.
“Ed’s broad experience and collaborative leadership style will be instrumental in navigating unprecedented industry change and delivering Dominion’s clean energy future,” notes Miki Deric, managing director for utilities and business advisory services in North America at Accenture.
To ensure reliability and resiliency for customers during this clean energy transition, Dominion Energy is also modernizing the grid. It is making significant investment in transmission infrastructure, while also moving forward on a ten-year effort to transform the distribution grid. The company has also made significant progress on its strategic undergrounding program and is partnering with others on rural broadband to help close the digital divide in Virginia.
“Ed is the rare leader that combines transformational vision with an exceptional operations background and ability to execute. Pike is honored to partner with Ed and his team,” says Matt Simmons, senior vice president at Pike Electric.