Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
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8/19/18  1:32 pm
Commenter: Kristin Peckman

Virginia Energy Plan comments

I attended the listening session in Roanoke on July 30 and was disappointed to note that no one’s comments were being recorded, and DMME is totally dependent upon the mental and scribbled notes of the moderator.  Perhaps our written comments are being treated with the same lack of respect.  I hope not.


Climate change is a clear and present danger; Virginia can no longer rely on fossil fuel sources of energy.  We must make a radical shift to renewable sources such as solar and wind, as well as improve our energy efficiency.  There are many ways to do so; I will mention just a few, but our focus must be on renewables and efficiency.


Just last year, we were able to add solar panels to our home, and we love being able to use electricity without guilt.  However, even though our roof could produce more, Apco limited us to producing what we consume.  We would love to be able to share the electricity we produce with our neighbors, but we cannot do so.  Virginia needs to make community solar work, so that homes and businesses that are able to generate solar energy can share it with those that cannot.


Virginia also needs to incentivize the use of parking lots for solar energy production.  Instead of baking our cars in the sun and putting shades in our windshields, we could be producing energy to serve nearby businesses, or even add to the grid.  Rooftops are also an excellent place to locate solar panels, much better than “solar farms” using up valuable cropland and natural areas.


Dominion’s 12 MW of offshore wind is hardly impressive.  They have held onto these leases for years, and only now are doing a pilot project.  Virginia needs to stop bowing to the utility companies.  Improving the grid means more than burying lines; it means making it more flexible to allow distributed generation.  Microgrids could limit the effect of outages caused by extreme weather events or, sadly, terrorist activities.


Virginia should initiate an in-depth study of grid transformation to set the stage for developing a modern electric grid with more electric supplier options, increased security, customer-owned data and a more diverse mix of centralized and distributed generation.


We need much stronger policies for new buildings, appliances, and lighting.  We need programs to retrofit older buildings for greater efficiency.  We certainly don’t need to pay Apco to send us occasional emails or a faucet aerator in the mail.


We could use more electric charging stations in our area, but they must use renewable energy sources.  By renewable energy, by the way, I do NOT mean biomass.


In the transportation arena, we need to improve our rail and public transit systems.  A report from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics states that one freight-car mile uses about 2/3 of the BTUs that one truck uses.  It also means less highway maintenance, which requires energy.


Finally, we must stop allowing companies to profit from our lands and destroy our natural carbon sequestration system (trees) to carry natural gas which both at the source and when burned, emits methane which is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

CommentID: 66210