en HB 572 – Distributed solar & other renewable energy; sales of electricity under third-party agreements | NCRE

HB 572 – Distributed solar & other renewable energy; sales of electricity under third-party agreements

For further details regarding this bill, please visit: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HB572

The finalized copy of the multifaceted HB572 (or the Solar Freedom bill), made eight alterations affecting customers of investor-owned utilities:

  • requires the State Corporation Commission to establish by regulation a shared solar program that allows multifamily customers of investor-owned utilities, other than American Electric Power, to purchase electric power through a subscription in a shared solar facility;
  • raises the cap on the total amount of renewable energy that can be net metered in a utility’s service territory from one percent to six percent, five percent of which is available to all customers and one percent of which is available only to low-income utility customers. This means customers installing rooftop solar will continue getting credit for surplus energy at the retail rate. When net-metered projects reach 3 percent, or in 2024 for APCo or 2025 for Dominion, the State Corporation Commission will conduct a solar study to determine the appropriate rate structure for new net metering customers. Existing net metering customers will not be affected.”.
  • Raises the cap for net-metered nonresidential generation facilities from the previous one megawatt to three megawatts;
  • allows certain localities to install solar or wind facilities of up to five megawatts on government-owned property and use the electricity for government-owned buildings;
  • increases the cap on the capacity of generation from facilities from the customer’s expected annual energy consumption to 150 percent of their previous year’s demand, recognizing the needs of growing families and EV owners, in Dominion Energy Virginia’s service territory. In APCo territory, the limit remains at 100 percent of previous demand;
  • prohibits standby charges for any residential customer-generator or agricultural customer-generator of an investor-owned utility other than Dominion Energy Virginia; and
  • increases the cap on third party power purchase agreements to 500 megawatts for jurisdictional customers and 500 megawatts for nonjurisdictional customers of Dominion Energy Virginia and to 40 megawatts for customers of American Electric Power. The original program cap of 50 MW in Dominion territory was reached this fall, halting projects across the state. The measure also amends the Commonwealth Energy Policy to include provisions supporting distributed generation of renewable energy. This bill is identical to HB 1184 and SB 710.