Virginia governor signs 11 energy bills, including solar, energy storage and pumped hydro

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
The bills signify a move to a more clean energy conscious Virginia. Source: Flickr

Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe signed 11 bills earlier this week that promote solar and other renewable energy resources such as pumped hydro.

The bills include proposals for establishing a community solar pilot project, include energy storage in the mission of the state solar development authority and increase the size of clean energy projects eligible for permit from 100MW to 125MW.

The legislation indicated that the legislature is making a concerted effort to promote renewables and energy efficiency in the state; a move which was propounded by local utility Dominion Virginia Power – which recently has called for the integration of 5.2GW of new solar capacity over 25 years.

In this spirit, the state has increased clean energy investment from US$500 million to US$2 billion since 2014, with officials underscoring the associated job creation as an incentive for approving these bills. 

Key bills

Virginia is relatively demure when it comes to renewable energy, actually falling in rankings this year for installed capacity – going from 17th in 2016 to 20th this year – with 238.3MW of installed solar, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

But things are starting to get moving, thanks to this legislative effort by the state.

“It is clear that Virginia is moving in the right direction, especially with the recent announcement of record growth in our solar industry, but there is still work to do,” governor McAuliffe said Monday.

“[The] bill signing highlights the commitment we have to reducing energy consumption and providing more sustainable energy options in the Commonwealth,” added secretary of Commerce and Trade, Todd Haymore.

One key measure, SB 1393, authorises community solar pilot programmes to be run by the Appalachian Power Company, Dominion, and the Electric Cooperatives. Each utility will develop its own territory-specific programme that allows citizens and businesses the ability to subscribe to receive electricity generated by a small centrally-located solar generation system.

HB 1565 develops green zones giving special taxing and zoning exemptions for energy efficient buildings, and HB 1760/SB 1418 secures a rate approval for pumped hydro storage projects in the south-western area of the state. 

Read Next

July 22, 2021
US Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer has failed in a bid to fast-track the US’ US$1.2 trillion infrastructure investment bill through the Senate. But there remains hope that further progress could be made as early as next Monday, when some Republican senators believe the bill will be fit to proceed.
July 21, 2021
Singapore-based solar developer Sunseap Group has secured a contract to build what it says will be the world’s largest floating PV project on the Indonesian island of Batam.
July 21, 2021
At least 455GW of new solar PV capacity will need to be installed each year by the end of this decade for the world to reach net zero status by 2050, new analysis by BloombergNEF (BNEF) has found.
July 20, 2021
Sustainable infrastructure investment firm Generate Capital has raised US$2 billion in funding to scale its support for sectors such as clean energy.
July 15, 2021
A round-up of the latest stories from the US solar market, featuring proposals to support long-duration energy storage, patent successes from LONGi and the completion of a microgrid at Pittsburgh International Airport that features 20MW of solar.
PV Tech Premium
July 15, 2021
Earlier this week the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published its 2021 Annual Technology Baseline (ATB) document, detailing the continued reduction in the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of the country’s core generators. Liam Stoker takes a look at the data and discusses just how cheap solar, and solar-storage, could become.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
July 29, 2021
Webinar
Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
October 6, 2021