Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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8/20/18  2:18 pm
Commenter: Northern Virginia Regional Commission

Comments to the 2018 Energy Plan

Comments from the Northern Virginia Regional Commission to the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan

Submitted August 20, 2018


On behalf of its 13 member governments, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission wishes to share the following comments concerning the Governors’ 2018 Virginia Energy Plan:



Strengthen Further State-level Policies That Incentivize Solar Photovoltaic Energy.  The Commonwealth’s progression since 2008, from approximately 200kW of installed capacity of solar PV to over approximately 631MW today is remarkable.  Suggestions by the NVRC to accelerate commercial and residential solar PV include:


  • Increasing to 125%, the amount from the previous year’s usage, that a property owner is allowed to expand grid-connected net-metered solar electric generation;
  • Allowing distributed solar generation facilities receipt of the fair retail value for all surplus electricity generated and added to the grid;
  • Removal of the 1 percent cap limitation on net-metered solar capacity generating electricity into a utility’s service provider service territory;
  • Increase system size at which standby charges apply to no less than 20 kW;
  • Enable customers to buy into shared renewable energy facilities (for example, solar coops and true community solar installations) and to participate in solar leasing agreements with third parties;
  • Establish aggressive and mandatory requirements for renewables in the state’s overall energy mix with a focus on in-state solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market.  A specific and reasonable target for wind and solar would be 50% by 2050;
  • Encourage localities across the Commonwealth to participate in voluntary “solarize” and “solar coop” programs to incentivize and expand rooftop solar opportunities for residential and other customers.  The success of NVRC’s “Solarize NOVA” could be replicated statewide for the benefit of all residents;
  • Prioritize the investment (perhaps via funding from SB966) into resilient grid modernization in the Commonwealth to further support distributed generation from renewable energy;
  • Integrate job creation training program for renewable energy;
  • Incentivize battery storage systems tied to solar by providing a state-level tax credit for purchase and use of such systems;
  • Allow third-party ownership (Power Purchase Agreements) regardless of customer size or business type;
  • Encourage the Commonwealth of Virginia to conduct an RFP for bulk purchase of renewable energy to encourage local governments to participate in contracts.


Need for Commonwealth to Incentivize Energy Efficiency:


  • A 2011 report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy ranked Virginia 41st of all states on matters concerning overall efficiency.  To address this issue, Virginia needs to commission a new energy efficiency potential study to assess the scale, availability, and cost of the efficiency resource in the state. The study should address the potential for electric, natural gas, joint-fuel programs – and especially weatherization.



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