Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
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9/15/22  5:09 am
Commenter: Ellen J Atkinson

Yes to distributed solar

Thanks for the opportunity to contribute.

  • Virginia should prioritize distributed solar, including community (shared solar)

    • Distributed solar provides affordable, clean energy for subscribers. 

    • Particularly amid the current context of volatile natural gas prices, distributed solar can provide energy security at a reliably low long-term cost.

    • Distributed solar creates up to 6x more jobs than utility-scale solar.

  • Policies that promote shared (community) solar should be pursued

    • Utilities should not be allowed to charge unreasonable "minimum bills" for customers with a shared solar subscription, as Dominion was recently allowed to do by the SCC. At $55, that's the highest minimum charge in the country and makes this option uneconomic for many households.

    • Any new shared solar program should include a carve-out for low-income customers. 

    • Additionally, customers of Appalachian Power and electric co-ops should be allowed to subscribe to shared solar. 

  • Solar development on brownfields (like formerly mined lands) should be incentivized

    • Virginia should provide $35M for the Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Fund to incentivize solar development on degraded lands. 

    • Restrictions that limit this program from being funded without a federal match should be removed.

    • Virginia should actively seek federal money from the Inflation Reduction Act to support clean energy development in the Commonwealth, including by funding the Brownfield program.

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