Moyes states that Dominion’s innovation team is encouraged to foster change and that one key component in that is getting the leadership to recognize that change is a good thing. “It’s the job of our innovation team to not only foster a culture that embraces a lot of these innovations, but we have a big job to do on convincing our current leadership that it’s ok to change and that we need to embrace the change,” he says.
Sustainability is an initiative happening worldwide, and Dominion recognizes that its company is building the type of energy that every industry needs. Alex Moyes asserts, “There’s not a single industry that can move forward without energy.” He goes on to say, “You can’t open up your news app today without seeing the kind of intersection of climate change, and policy, and energy, and how on earth can we continue to grow and evolve as a society while also mitigating our environmental impact, whether that’s carbon emissions, direct environmental impact through land disturbance, ecosystem destruction, etc.”
At a time when we used fossil fuels as a single source of energy, we now realize the usefulness of intermittent energy sources like wind and solar, which only currently operate at 30% annually. Moyes suggests that 70% of the time, no energy is being produced from intermittent sources, further solidifying the need for innovations. “What if we could take the excess energy that wind and solar are producing at times of the day when we don’t need it, and we might be able to lift big blocks of concrete…and with that excess energy, we’re lifting those blocks of concrete, and then all of a sudden, when we need the energy, we lower those blocks of concrete and spin a turbine,” Alex Moyes illustrates.
Although the company works with various startups, Moyes says that the best innovative ideas come from Dominion’s 17,000 employees. He believes that having the right innovation team in place is necessary to give their customers what they want. Moyes states, “We have a lot of customers that are coming to us all the time saying – we want to decarbonize, we want to have clean energy, and not only do we want clean energy, we want it to be local, we want to see the clean energy that we’re investing in, and we want to make sure we’re getting it 24/7.”
The innovation momentum will continue in 2023, with the biggest focus will be on scaling all of the significant internal ideas. However, even with plans in place for testing ideas, scaling is a hurdle. Moyers asserts, “But I think that the challenge that a lot of big corporations have, not just at Dominion, is once we’ve proved the use-case, we’ve proved the pilot successful, how do we then hand that off to a business unit and scale it.” Taking the innovations into 2023 is the next chapter for Dominion Energy.