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07.02.2020 Legal News

Virginia SCC establishes Shared Solar Program Regulatory Proceeding

On July 1, 2020, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (the “Commission”) issued an Order initiating a proceeding to establish by regulation a program affording Virginia Electric and Power Company (“Dominion”) customers the opportunity to participate in a shared solar program. 

During the 2020 session, the Virginia General Assembly enacted Chapters 1238 (HB 1634) and 1264 (SB 629) of the 2020 Virginia Acts of Assembly.  Section 56-594.3 of the Virginia Code, which was added pursuant to the 2020 Virginia Acts of Assembly, requires the Commission to establish by regulation a shared solar program by January 1, 2021 that allows customers of Dominion to purchase electric power through a subscription in a shared solar facility. 

Under the new statute, the Commission is to approve a shared solar program of 150 MWs with a minimum requirement of 30% low income customers.  Further, the Commission is to approve an additional 50 MWs of capacity upon determining at least 45 MWs of the aggregated shared solar capacity has been subscribed to by low-income customers.  For purposes of the new statute, “shared solar facility” is defined as a facility that, among other things, generates electricity by means of a solar photovoltaic device with a nameplate capacity rating that does not exceed 5,000 kilowatts. 

By its Order, the Commission directs comments from Dominion and invites comments from any interested parties to assist the Commission in drafting proposed regulations for the shared solar program.  In particular, the Commission asked Dominion to comment on the following:

  1. program administration, including the provisions of Va. Code § 56-594.3 B;
  2. any proceedings and filings that will be necessary for the program;
  3. establishing a minimum bill;
  4. program size, as set forth in Va. Code § 56-594.3 E, including compliance measures and low-income customer participation requirements;
  5. program requirements, including those set forth in Va. Code § 56-594.3 F; and
  6. any other relevant items or issues Dominion wishes to address.

In addition, commenters may propose specific regulations.

The proceeding is docketed as Case No. PUR-2020-00125.  Comments to the Commission are due by July 24, 2020.  

For more information, please contact Brad Nowak, co-Chair of Williams Mullen’s Solar and Renewable Energy team.