Renewable Energy in VA Gains Momentum as Legislation Evolves
As one of the leading solar developers in the South East, with over 1000 MW of projects under development in Virginia, NCRE is keenly following the recent legislative progress in Virginia has made on renewable energy. 2020 is proving to shape up as a landmark year for Solar Energy development in the Commonwealth. Momentum hasn’t been contained to just utility or commercial scale solar. If anything, this year marks an expanding and experimental shift toward more distributed and inclusive community solar projects. In fact, several house bills give focus to more diminutive, community and/or crowdfunded solar programs, with criteria to make it accessible for low-income customers.
“We are pleased to announce we have more than 20 potential community solar projects under development following the passing of House Bill 1634” says Alexandria Hernandez, General Manager. “It is a true democratization of renewable energy that is good for Virginians of all political persuasion. These smaller projects give many landowners and local authorities a great reason to embrace and approve solar projects”
The backdrop for these new laws is the passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which targets 100% renewable energy for Dominion by 2045 and for Appalachian Power Company by 2050. This has created a concerted effort to push for policies which spur utilities, citizens, local governments, and private developers alike toward a future with less fossil fuels and more renewable energy. We would like to take the opportunity to summarize a few of these important developments, most of which go into effect as early as July 1st.
Please review our list below for a summary of several of the most noteworthy renewable energy house bills pertinent to the solar industry:
- HB 572 – Distributed solar & other renewable energy; sales of electricity under third-party agreements.
- HB 1634 – Shared solar programs; electric utility regulation, etc.
- HB 1434 – Property tax exemption for solar energy equipment
- HB 1131 – Revenue share assessment option for localities
Virginia has set the wheels in motion for increased use of renewable energy, indicating a pressing desire by the state government to continue increasing clean energy solutions. This is certainly an uphill battle, and much work remains. The coming year will undoubtedly be very eventful for the energy sector. NCRE is pleased to be in the forefront of this movement, and will continue to pioneer clean, renewable energy as the Commonwealth continues to evolve its energy development rhetoric.
For a full summary of the bills passed during the recent sessions of the general assembly, please find it here: https://mailchi.mp/apavirginia.com/legislativereport on the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association’s website, under “Legislative Report”.