RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Dominion Energy recently released plans to turn their empty lot across from Kanawha Plaza into a “clean energy park”. But, not everyone is on board with the idea.

After Dominion Energy tore down its old headquarters in May 2020, the lot sat untouched for two years. However, the company now tells 8News they plan to fill its vacant block in downtown Richmond with a “clean energy park” including nearly 30 electric car charging stations and green space.

An architectural rendering of Dominion Energy’s “clean energy park.” (photo: Dominion Energy)

Dominion originally planned to make use of the space in a different way by creating another office building. However, because many of their employees began working from home, the company felt they could turn the space into something that would benefit everyone.

“We are promoting the electrification of everything,” said Dominion spokesperson Craig Carper.

With fast charging stations and green space, the company says this project is the perfect addition to the downtown area and a great opportunity for the company to move towards net zero carbon emissions in the next couple of decades.

“So this makes sense for commuters, it makes sense for people just passing through the city to come by and charge their vehicles,” Carper said.

Some are less enthused about the project, however. Partnership for Smarter Growth, a local organization, is calling the project a “glorified parking lot” that “encourages more cars, choking our urban core”. The organization feels the company could make use of the site in a way that would better align with Richmond’s 300 plan for smarter growth.

“We’ve heard people label this as parking, it’s not really parking, it’s charging,” said Carper.

At this time, the project is expected to be completed in 2024.