General Assembly Alert! Both of our Solar Workgroup bills below are making progress on their way to the Governor’s desk.
HB 2034 Action/SB 1420:
HB 2034 passed the House on January 22. Email representatives about HB 2034 and SB 1420: https://generation180.org/solar-for-southwest-virginia/
Or contact your state senator directly – find their contact information here.
HB 1925 Action:
HB 1925 passed the House on January 28. Contact your senator: find their contact information here.
One of the four primary goals of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia is to promote policy changes that will help grow the solar industry in Southwest Virginia.
For the 2021 Virginia General Assembly Session, the Workgroup has identified the following priorities to help grow the solar industry in SWVA:
Net metering – Solar Workgroup members support legislation and policies that:
- Ensure non-jurisdictional (government) customers have access to net metering programs available to jurisdictional (non-government) customers.
- Clarify current law to allow net metering across a right-of-way.
- Allow for virtual net metering and meter aggregation for all customer classes.
- Ensure there are mechanisms to allow renters to benefit from the electricity savings that occur as a result of a multi-family building owner installing solar.
Third-Party Ownership and Solar Financing – Solar Workgroup members support legislation that either:
- Clarifies that third-party ownership and power purchase agreements (PPAs) are legal and available to all customer sectors, including both jurisdictional (non-government) customers and non-jurisdictional (government) customers, across the state, with no capacity limitation (or “cap”).
- Expands the APCo and ODP 3rd-party PPA pilot program caps, and ensures that government customers are eligible for the PPA Pilot Programs.
Developing Community Solar Programs – Solar Workgroup members support legislation to:
- Create a statewide community solar program that allows independent developers to own and operate community solar systems, provides customers with solar credits through their utility bill, and ensures that customers of municipal utilities and electric cooperatives have access to community solar programs.
- Include mechanisms in community solar programs that ensure accessibility for low-income customers and organizations providing services to low-income customers.
Developing Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Development on Mined Lands and Brownfields – Solar Workgroup members support legislation to:
- Provide financial incentives on a per-kilowatt (kW) or per-kW-hour (kWh) basis for renewable energy and/or energy storage installations that are located on brownfields (including mined lands).
- Provide additional support for state agencies to collaborate with utilities and stakeholders to develop a guidebook/toolkit for permitting and project development for renewable energy and energy storage on brownfields.
- Streamline permitting procedures for renewable energy and energy storage developed on brownfields by requiring the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to review and revise its requirements for renewable energy and energy storage permitting, and require DEQ to clarify that no additional assessment is needed to construct renewable energy and energy storage in zones that have already been impacted by human development, such as mined lands, landfills, or cleaned-up brownfields.