Tel: 804.864.1100

Tel: 804.864.1100

Tag Archive: solar

Energy Bills to Watch at the Virginia General Assembly This Session

The Virginia Clean Economy Act (HB 1526) would replace Virginia’s voluntary renewable portfolio standard with a mandatory renewable content requirement for electricity sales that will scale up to require 100% of electricity sold in Virginia to come from renewable sources by 2050. A report by the Maryland Delaware Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association and the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at Virginia Commonwealth University projects that 2,500 MW of new distributed solar energy (which would be authorized under the Act) could result in over 29,000 direct solar jobs in Virginia and $4.3 billion in economic investment. This bill has cleared both the House and Senate Committees and is up to be voted on tomorrow on crossover day.

HB 889 is another energy bill to watch. If passed, customers would be able to purchase renewable energy from a competitive supplier, expanding a limited shopping option under current law if a customer’s utility does not offer a renewable energy option. This legislation would reduce the time that customers shopping for electricity with a completive supplier must wait before returning to utility supply service. There is also a provision in HB 889 to expand consumer protections for retail electricity consumers, including development of a consumer education website, reporting on customer satisfaction, and additional enforcement to address any “unscrupulous activity in making sales to retail customers.”

There are other energy bills under consideration this session. With crossover day tomorrow, we will have a better idea of what legislation will be moving forwards this session.

If you have questions about energy legislation in Virginia or other issues impacting the retail energy and renewable energy industries, please contact Eric Wallace or any of GreeneHurlocker’s Virginia energy attorneys for more information.

Solar Powers Augusta Schools

We were really excited last week when our good client, Secure Futures, was out in Augusta County Public Schools (ACPS) to talk about the installation of a total of 1.8 megawatts of solar power across seven campuses. ACPS, with more than 5,000 solar panels deployed, is the largest solar energy system of any public school division in Virginia. Some excellent coverage of this initiative is here. Augusta County students created some great posters about how much they love solar and those are featured on the Secure Futures homepage.

Secure Futures’ partnership with ACPS meant the school division had no capital investment for this solar project. Additionally, and most importantly, they receive monthly savings on their utility bill by using the electricity generated by the solar panels. ACPS has a special webpage where you can look at their solar energy production in real time. Pretty cool!

If you want to know more about solar energy issues in Virginia or have legal matters that involve solar or other renewable energy resources, contact any of our Virginia energy lawyers.

November’s Solar Focus Gets Our Attention

The MDV SEIA’s 8th annual Solar Focus conference, the East Coast’s premier solar conference, is slated for November 17 and 18 in Washington, D.C., and we will be there, all in. We will be one of the sponsoring organizations for this outstanding industry conference. In addition, I will be moderating a panel during the meeting covering consumer protection issues in the region.

Energy professionals across the East Coast will be watching this conference for developing issues and industry trends. Organizers expect more than 300 solar industry leaders from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors will gather together to ensure spirited debate and meaningful dialogue, according the Dana Sleeper, executive director.

The Consumer Protection panel I will moderate on the morning of November 18 includes William Reisinger of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, Elizabeth Stern from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office and Steven Eisenberg from SRECTrade, a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) transaction and management firm. We will be discussing actions of state Attorney General offices in pursuing bad actors in the solar market and consumer rights, such as challenges presented by neighbors (especially shade), HOAs, pop ups, and others that infringe upon consumer systems and their ability to become energy-independent.

We look forward to seeing clients and friends at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill during the many social functions and educational events. Let us know if you are planning to attend so that we can be sure to keep an eye out for you.