The VCEA brings the possibility of unprecedented solar expansion to Virginia and makes the state a true leader in clean energy.
We could not be more thrilled about the historic passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act. This omnibus bill is the the culmination of hundreds of hours of collaboration, negotiations, and effort by so many people who care about solar energy and sustainability for our state. An amended version of SB 851 passed the House of Delegates Thursday, and the Senate agreed to those amendments Friday. Now, as the 2020 session of the General Assembly comes to a close, the legislation will head to the desk of Governor Ralph Northam.
Ipsun’s co-founder and CEO, Herve Billiet, said, “We are thrilled that the VCEA has passed, after many long months of negotiation and hard work by so many. We really appreciate our customers and friends’ time in writing and calling their legislators to help this effort. It truly takes a village to make a historic bill like this pass, and we did it. This law will allow rooftop solar to grow and thrive. We are so excited to get to work!”
The bill not only creates the necessary policies to keep Ipsun installing solar in Virginia, but it also lays the groundwork to get the state to the Governor’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. It takes many steps forward for energy efficiency and wind generation, enters Virginia into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and creates a mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The RPS requires the state to add renewables to the energy mix on a scheduled timeline that ultimately brings us to 100% by 2045.
Specific to solar, we’re thrilled with these new provisions in the VCEA:
- Raises the net metering cap from 1% to 6%, which includes 1% specifically for low-income customers.
- Increases the Solar Power Purchase Agreement cap in the Dominion Energy service area from 50 MW to 500 MW. This allows the Fairfax County Solar PPA program to go forward!
- Raises the limit on a residential customer’s allowed project size from 100% of their annual energy demand to 150% of their annual energy demand.
- Raises the project size limit from 20 kW to 25 kW for residential customers.
Al Larsen, Ipsun’s Senior Advisor for Governmental Affairs, spent many long hours working together with our partners in Virginia Solar for All. “The passage of the VCEA is historic and futuristic at the same time,” he said.
“Legislating is a complicated process, requiring many, many people, with much compromising. There are heroes in the Virginia Assembly, and heroes in organizations, and individual citizen heroes, all of whom were necessary to make creation and passage of this bill possible. Many hours, some uncertain points along the way, and ultimately a great victory for the people of Virginia,” Larsen added.
Stay tuned for more information about the new policies and changes that have come out of this historic session of the General Assembly. With a record number of bills considered, and an unprecedented number of environmental bills passed, it’s been a wild ride that we’re still processing. To learn more about Ipsun’s solar advocacy, visit our policy page. For more information about the VCEA, visit www.virginiasolarforall.com.