Governor Ralph Northam has signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which establishes bold energy efficiency standards and provides a pathway for new investments in solar, onshore wind, offshore wind and energy storage.
Additional legislation signed by Northam advances shared solar and energy storage programs, and dramatically transforms the rooftop solar market.
“We are at a pivotal moment to secure an affordable, clean energy future in Virginia,” says Northam.
“Together, these pieces of legislation put the state in a position to meet the urgency of the climate crisis and lead the transition to renewable energy in a way that captures the economic, environmental and health benefits for all Virginians,” he adds.
For the first time in the state, the Virginia Clean Economy Act establishes a mandatory renewable portfolio standard to achieve 30% renewable energy by 2030, a mandatory energy efficiency resource standard and the path to a carbon-free electric grid by 2045.
The bill also declares that 16,100 MW of solar and onshore wind, 5,200 MW of offshore wind and 2,700 MW of energy storage are in the public interest. This provides a pathway for clean energy resources to be constructed, while ensuring that the investments are made in a cost-effective way. The Virginia Clean Economy Act protects customers with a program that helps reduce electricity bills and brings energy efficiency savings to low-income households.
Northam also signed legislation directing the State Corporation Commission to determine when electric utilities should retire coal-fired or natural gas-fired electric generation facilities – and how utility customers should pay for this transition.
Photo: Governor Ralph Northam and family