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Associated Press: Sweeping Renewable Energy Bill Poised for Final Passage

Posted by Sarah Rankin on Mar 6, 2020

Associated Press covered the Virginia Clean Economy Act's passage in the House as it makes its way to the Senate, noting AEE's role and analysis of positive ratepayer impact. Read excerpts below and the entire AP piece here

A sweeping energy bill that supporters said would make Virginia a national leader in addressing climate change passed the state House Thursday amid warnings by critics that it will carry a steep price tag. The legislation, called the Virginia Clean Economy Act, moved to the Senate for its expected final passage. One of the new Democratic majority’s priorities this session, the bill would overhaul how Virginia utilities generate electricity, laying out a path toward zero carbon emissions by 2045. It paves the way for an enormous expansion of offshore wind generation, solar or onshore wind generation, and the use of battery storage technology, which advocates say will create thousands of jobs...

The legislation requires utilities to meet certain energy efficiency standards utilities and establishes annual goals for the sale of renewable energy. It also contains provisions advocates say will remove barriers to rooftop and shared solar energy. The House passed the bill 51-45, and the Senate was expected to pass it Friday, sending it to Gov. Ralph Northam, whose administration has been involved in the negotiations. The bill’s sponsors said hundreds of hours of negotiations have gone into the legislation. Participants in those talks also included Dominion Energy, environmental groups and Advanced Energy Economy, a national association of businesses...

An analysis done for Advanced Energy Economy also found the measure would reduce bills, by about $3.41 per month. The bill allows utility customers to be charged a fee to fund a program intended to keep the electric bills of low-income individuals down, a provision criticized by Republicans. “Nobody’s capping my rates,” Republican Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment said during a committee hearing. The bill’s future briefly seemed in doubt Thursday, after the House voted to adopt amendments from Democratic Del. Sam Rasoul, an opponent of the measure, that its sponsors considered unfriendly. That set off frenzied lobbying among Democrats...

Read the entire AP piece here

Topics: AEE In The News