US-based Dominion Virginia Power is set to proceed in developing a solar power facility in Halifax County, Canada, after the approval of a $5m grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission.

Dominion applied for the grant in June 2010 with University of Virginia’s Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering, and an advanced energy storage manufacturer as participants.

Dominion will be issuing a request for proposals for the engineering, procurement and construction of the 4MW solar facility to be located on 202,342m² of land in Halifax County.

PJM Interconnection, the independent regional transmission company in Virginia, reported that Dominion’s service area is expected to have the strongest annual growth rate in electric demand at 2.5%.

Dominion is also exploring resources to cover a gap of 5,600MW between the available supply of electricity and customer demand in 2019.

The $35m integrated solar and advanced energy storage facility is expected to commence operations in 2012.