Oct 13

Virginia Power Purchase Agreement

On May 7, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (the “Commission”) issued an injunction authorizing the pre-registration of a portion of the increased capacity made available by third parties pursuant to recent amendments to the Electric Power Reception Pilot Program (“ECA”) [1] (the “Pilot Program”). The pilot program has been amended in accordance with the Virginia Clean Economy Act (“VCEA”), signed on April 11, 2020 and effective July 1, 2020. The regulation allows for the pre-registration of declarations of intent submitted by owners or operators of solar or wind installations who intend to enter into PDOs before July 1, 2020, subject to certain restrictions described in the regulation. Fairfax County announced in December 2019 an exciting new clean energy initiative, the largest initiative to date by a local government in Virginia. As the county prepares to install hundreds of solar panels on rooftops and parking lots, many are wondering what exactly an electricity receiving contract is and how it works. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of solar power purchase agreements. Under the proposed bill, negotiated between utilities and Powered by Facts, farmers would have to buy all their (dirty) electricity from their retail distribution company and sell their renewable electricity to the distribution company at the distribution company`s avoided costs, primarily in the wholesale trade. This does not seem to be a good deal for farmers, but we are told that it lacks more or less pencils. On the positive side, the law would allow farmers to build up to 1.5 megawatts of renewable capacity to reach 25% of their area or up to 150% of the amount of electricity they consume, depending on their lower value, which is more than they can do under the current rules.

(But since federal law allows anyone to sell electricity produced by a qualified facility in the grid at avoided costs, even that portion of the bill is of dubious added value.) The project is expected to begin in mid-2021 and commercial operation is expected to begin by the end of 2022. The approximately 133 million solar $US brings to four the number of projects developed by Savion in Virginia, which are under construction, generating 190 MW of solar energy and a total investment of more than 285 million $US. The General Assembly should also consider a procurement mandate. Our weak and voluntary Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) will never be filled with wind and sun, and making it mandatory wouldn`t change that. (To understand why, see Section 4 of my guide to Virginia`s 2017 wind and solar policy here.) To introduce solar into the RPS, 1) make it mandatory; (2) raising targets to a reasonable level (including the elimination of nuclear loopholes); (3) including mandatory minimum requirements for solar and wind, so that they are not required to compete with cheap renewable energy (CI) certificates from non-state hydropower plants; and 4) provide utilities with the ability to account for the performance of customer-owned solar installations in the total, possibly through a REC purchase program set up by the State Corporation Commission. . . .