COMMENTS FOR THE 2018 VIRGINIA ENERGY PLAN UPDATE
1. Development of Virginia’s future energy grid should be guided by the following principals:
a. Renewable energy sources, especially solar and wind, will serve as the primary sources of energy.
b. Fossil fuels will serve as a back-up energy source until such time as efficient and effective battery storage technology is an integral part of the electric grid.
c. Nuclear energy will be maintained but not expanded, and can be gradually phased out.
d. The electric grid should be developed to allow for (and also encourage) a dispersed network of renewable energy sources (such as rooftop solar, small scale wind and solar farms, etc.) to feed the grid.
2. DMME should expand opportunities for public review and input into its process for preparing the 2018 Plan Update. This should include the following:
a. Allowing for public review and input at major steps/milestones in the development of the draft plan.
b. Making major sections of the draft plan available on-line and at Planning District Commission’s (PDC’s) across the state.
c. Providing PDC’s with the opportunity to receive presentations as part of the process for developing the draft plan.
d. Establishing a citizen’s advisory committee (beyond stakeholders) to assist in reviewing sections of the draft plan and providing its input.
3. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and DMME should work with Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO’s) across the state to plan for region-wide networks of public charging stations for electric vehicles. Note that the “ Richmond Electric Vehicle Initiative, Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan” (REVi), published in March, 2013 for the Richmond Region, provides a regional plan and underlying strategies for deployment of electric vehicle charging stations in the Richmond Region.
4. DMME should prepare and publish an annual report that documents and tracks how much renewable energy is being produced in Virginia. This annual report should show who is producing renewable energy (i.e., private homes, businesses, industries, state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and electric utilities) and show this by source (e.g., roof top solar, wind turbine, solar farms, etc.) and by amount (kilowatt hours).
5. DMME should fund a program to establish a staff position at PDC’s serving metropolitan areas of 100,000 and greater in population, to serve as an energy program coordinator. This staff position will help facilitate work on future DMME energy plan updates, review and inform local governments, businesses and other groups and organizations, of energy issues and opportunities for energy development, and work with a variety of groups and organizations to develop renewable energy sources for their region.
Comments prepared by Dan Lysy
August 21, 2018