2015 Bills

The Energy Diversity and Economic Development Plan (Bill in drafting process)

The Energy Diversity and Economic Development Plan establishes a zero emission electricity portfolio standard.  The standard will require the Investor Owned Utilities to purchase a minimum amount of zero emission Megawatt hours (MWh) from eligible resources.   The use of a zero emission standard – generation and energy efficiency – creates a diverse energy resource base that is technology and fuel-neutral.   The Plan separates fuel neutral demand-side resources and supply-side resources.  The demand side category combines and competes distributed generation – behind the retail meter and on the retail customer’s premise – and energy efficiency including fuel switching (demand side energy efficiency excludes transmission system upgrades). Further, the Plan requires LSEs to purchase a minimum percentage of the standard from demand side resources safeguarding their system benefits including reduced system losses, satisfying customer demand and reducing the electricity consumers’ bill.  Only eligible resources placed into service in the Commonwealth after the effective date of the Act (July 1, 2015) will qualify.  Eligible resources include Solar Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal, Thermal energy of CHP, Wind, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Anaerobic Digestion, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Nuclear, and allows for future non-emitting technologies.  Zero emission credits are tradable with a three-year life span. The plan also creates a Credit Registry that certifies Credits, provides oversight on Credit trading and allows for third-party energy efficiency programs.

 

The Virginia Solar Energy Development Authority (Bill in drafting process)

The Bill creates the Virginia Solar Energy Development Authority as a corporate body corporate and political subdivision of the Commonwealth.  The Authority’s purposes are to facilitate, coordinate, and support solar energy development.  The authority may develop programs such as expanding access to financing in order to increase solar energy generation on public and private sector facilities.  The Authority will provide a hub for collaboration between entities, both public and private, to partner on solar energy projects.  The Governor will appoint 11 non-legislative citizen residents of the commonwealth.  These members may include solar businesses, solar customers, renewable energy financiers, state and local government solar customers and solar research academics.

 

Community Solar Power Purchase Agreements (Bill in drafting process)

The Community Solar Power Purchase Agreements Bill modifies the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) code.  The Bill allows one solar facility to serve multiple customers through PPAs.   This Bill directs Dominion to credit the multiple customer accounts with their pro rata share of the energy generated by the facility.  This Bill removes the 50 MW cap on the pilot PPA program and removes the potential for inconsistency with the Net Metering code on the maximum size for a residential customer (20kW) and a nonresidential customers (500 kW).

 

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

This bill amends section 15.2-958.3 of the code of Virginia to enable localities to create energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy loan programs.  Private lenders are permitted to lend into these programs. The locality is authorized to place a special assessment lien equal in value to the loan amount on the property.  If the property is a multifamily or commercial property, the lien is on par with a tax lien if the existing mortgage lender agrees to subordinate their lien to the PACE special assessment lien.  Localities are permitted to hire a third party PACE program administrator and charge fees to offset their costs.  DMME is responsible for developing PACE financial underwriting guidelines by December 1, 2015.