Tel: 804.864.1100

Tel: 804.864.1100

Certificate of Public Need

Reminder: Next week is deadline to participate in Dominion’s CPCN case

As we previously discussed here, any person or entity who wishes to participate as a respondent in Dominion Virginia Power’s (“Dominion”) application for approval and certificates of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate three utility scale solar electric generating facilities must file a notice of participation on or before January 12, 2016 with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (“SCC”).  In addition, any interested party wishing to comment on Dominion’s application must file comments with the SCC on or before March 15, 2016.  A public hearing will be convened on March 22, 2016.

You can read more about Dominion’s application for approval and certificates of public convenience and necessity here. And if you have any questions about this deadline, the proposed construction or solar energy legal issues in general, please feel free to contact any one of our Virginia solar energy lawyers.

Here’s an Update on Dominion’s CPCN

On October 30, 2015, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (the “SCC”) issued an Order for Notice and Hearing (the “Order”) in response to Dominion Virginia Power’s (“Dominion”) application for approval and certificates of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate three utility scale solar electric generating facilities (the “Application”). As we discussed here, Dominion has proposed to build three large-scale solar facilities with a combined capacity of 56 MW in three Virginia counties:  (i) 17 MW to be built on 165 acres in Powhatan County, (ii) 20 MW to be built on 250 acres in Louise County and (iii) 19 MW to be built on 200 acres in Isle of Wight County.

The Order provides that any person or entity who wishes to participate as a respondent in the proceeding must file a notice of participation on or before January 12, 2016. In addition, the Order sets forth that any interested person wishing to comment on the Application must file comments with the Clerk of the Commission on or before March 15, 2016. Finally, a public hearing will be convened on March 22, 2016 with respect to the Application.

You can read the Commission’s Order here.

New Consumer Protection Regulations Progress

A few months ago we blogged about the Maryland Public Service Commission’s review of proposed revisions to the Maryland consumer protection regulations. These regulations govern the interplay between retail electricity and natural gas suppliers and potential and current customers. The Commission had set a hearing in June. After the filing of a new set of revised regulations, the Commission postponed the hearing until September 10-11. The “new and improved” revised regulations address, among many other issues, how and when a supplier must notify their customers of price changes, how quickly a customer may switch service between their utility and/or suppliers, and various issues impacting marketing and enrollments.

The District of Columbia Public Service Commission is reviewing its consumer protection regulations, called the Consumer Bill of Rights (CBORs). Recently, the Commission took comments on proposed revisions, and hosted a “technical conference” to discuss the stakeholders’ proposals. Stakeholders have been encouraged to discuss various issues going forward and try to reach consensus. It is anticipated that there will be a stakeholder filing in September, and the Commission at that point can issue another set of revised rules for comment or, if it so chooses, adopt the version currently before it.

Our firm is participating in both the Maryland and DC proceedings, representing the Retail Energy Supply Association.

Dominion Goes Big On Solar Project

Last week, Dominion Virginia Power filed a petition for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) for a 20 megawatt (MW) solar project.  The company claims that this project would be Virginia’s first large scale, utility solar generation facility.  Along with the filing of the CPCN petition, the company is requesting SCC approval of a rate adjustment clause for the current recovery of the costs of the solar facility and associated interconnection facilities.

If approved, the facility could be online as soon as October 2016. The company has also filed for approval of a 2 MW Community Solar pilot program that would allow Virginia customers the option to purchase electricity from a renewable source directly.

As Virginia renewable energy and utility lawyers, we are closely monitoring this filing and working with entities in the competitive renewable energy sector to assess the impact of this type of utility project on the Virginia and regional markets.    We will update this information as this proceeding moves forward at the Virginia SCC.

If you have any questions regarding the recent Dominion filing, or the impacts that it may have on the competitive generation market in Virginia, please do not hesitate to contact one of our renewable energy or utility rate lawyers.