Based in Richmond, VA, Dominion Virginia Power, started it smart grid demonstration in 2009 in Charlottesville, VA. Charlottesville was the first city in Virginia and one of the first in the nation where homes and businesses were equipped with smart meters, which was part of Dominion Virginia Power's Energy Conservation Plan . By deploying smart meters, Dominion Power expected to make the delivery of electricity more efficient and less costly, laying the groundwork for a smart grid.
Since 2009, Dominion Virginia Power has installed over 180,000 smart meters in areas of Virginia . As of early 2010, Dominion Power started installation of smart meters in its Midlothian and Charlottesville service areas .
Dominion Power also initiated a Solar Energy Project as a part of its smart grid implementation in Charlottesville . The goal of this demonstration was to evaluate the environmental and financial benefits that a customer can receive from solar energy in an appropriate application. In April 2010, 46 solar panels were installed on the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA roof. Each solar panel can generate up to 235 watts of power, roughly the equivalent of powering five laptops.