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Tag Archive: Terry McAuliffe

Commonwealth Pledges Reduced Carbon Emissions


Virginia Governor McAuliffe
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On June 28, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an Executive Order intended to significantly reduce carbon emissions from Virginia’s power plants and to combat the effects of climate change in the Commonwealth. Executive Order No.57 directs Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward to convene a Work Group and to report back to the Governor with concrete recommendations for reducing CO2 emissions. The Executive Order directs the Secretary to provide a final report and recommendations to the Governor no later than May 31, 2017.

Governor McAuliffe noted that the power generation sector, including coal and gas-fired power plants, account for almost 30% of the total carbon emissions in the Commonwealth. Governor McAuliffe also stated that he had ample authority under Article V of the Virginia Constitution and Virginia Code Section 10.1 to mandate carbon reductions via executive order. The Executive Order directs the Secretary to consider electric rate impacts and economic development opportunities in her recommendations.

The announcement came as federal efforts to address climate change are on hold. In February, the U.S. Supreme Court halted the implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (which we covered here), a regulation that the Obama Administration hopes will drastically reduce carbon emissions from the nation’s coal and gas-fired power plants and promote new investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency resources.  The Governor said that even though EPA’s Clean Power Plan has been stayed by the Court, Virginia cannot afford to delay taking action on climate change.

The press release from the Governor’s Office and full text of the Executive Order is Available here.

McAuliffe Announces Plan to Increase State Solar Use

McAuliffe speaking at Frying Pan Park in Hernd...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On December 21, 2015, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that, as a way to continue momentum in Virginia’s solar industry, state agencies will derive eight percent (8%) of their energy from solar sources within the next three (3) years.  Governor McAuliffe’s plan will deploy the development of 110 megawatts of solar energy through agreements with Dominion Virginia Power (“Dominion”) and third party developers, with Dominion building up to seventy-five (75%) of the solar capacity, and third party developers developing twenty-five percent (25%) of the solar capacity.   The Commonwealth of Virginia is expected to purchase the solar-generated electricity through a long-term power purchase agreement with Dominion.  Dominion’s customers, however, are not expected to experience a rate change as a result of the long term agreement, as any costs associated with the solar initiative are to be paid by the Commonwealth.

If you have questions about this initiative or its effects, or on any issue in the solar energy industry, please contact one of our Virginia solar energy lawyers.