A recent blog post from Power for the People VA, “Your 2016 guide to Virginia wind and solar policy,” provides a comprehensive look at the current obstacles and opportunities for renewable energy in the commonwealth.
While the General Assembly has taken little or no action on wind & solar energy policies, virtually everyone else – from the Governor to Dominion Power to Virginia schools and universities – has at least started inching in the right direction.
As the article states, Virginia made real progress this year. Total renewable capacity is expected to increase by nearly a factor of 10 before the year’s end. Unfortunately, we’re still lagging tremendously far behind neighboring states in both total capacity and the rate of new installations.
Author Ivy Main breaks the news into 19 policy areas:
- The further we go, the behinder we get
- Virginia utilities won’t sell wind or solar to customers* (*except those with billions of dollars and famous CEOs—see section 14)
- Community solar? Not hardly
- Virginia’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is a miserable sham
- Customer-owned generation: for most, the only game in town
- Limits to net metering hamper growth
- Aggregated net metering allowed for farms only
- Standby charges hobble the market for larger home systems and electric cars
- Good news for residential solar: homeowner association bans are largely a thing of the past
- Virginia utilities continue their fight against PPAs; now a losing battle?
- Tax exemption for third-party owned solar proves a market driver
- Dominion “Solar Partnership” Program encounters limited success
- Dominion’s Solar Purchase Program: bad for sellers, bad for buyers, and not popular with anyone
- Dominion’s Renewable Generation tariff for large users of energy finds no takers; Amazon forces a change, with a new tariff in the works that will be available to others
- Dominion moves into utility-scale solar
- Governor McAuliffe promises the state will purchase 110 MW of solar
- Will a Solar Development Authority help?
- Any wind energy yet? Nope, still waiting
- The Clean Power Plan tries to make it better to switch than fight