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Clean Energy Business Lobby Day 2014

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Neither snow nor rain nor sleet nor ice can keep clean energy business lobbyists down!

While not quite all of the 47 business representatives registered to attend our 4th annual Clean Energy Business Lobby Day could make it to Richmond, we still had an enormously successful day.  

The 28 business representatives from Virginia’s solar, wind and energy efficiency industries made close to 60 meetings with legislative offices.  The 2014 Lobby Day legislative agenda supported ten bills that create jobs, contribute to economic growth and help Virginia compete for a clean energy future.

 

HB910 (Villanueva) & SB653 (Norment) – Virginia Grant for Renewable Energy Property
Creates a grant for renewable energy property which is property located in the Commonwealth that produces renewable energy and related devices necessary for collecting, controlling, storing, exchanging, conditioning, or converting such energy. Grant is paid 90 days after Division of Energy receives documentation demonstrating such property was placed into service.  Bill requires a refundable deposit – 10% of requested grant – and places eligibility requirements in order to limit speculative projects.  Bill also limits grants to “individual piece of renewable energy property” ensuring projects do not apply for more than one grant in a given calendar year.  
 
SB418 (Hangar) – Solar Equipment Certification
Adds solar equipment to the definition of certified pollution control equipment and facilities that are exempt from state and local taxation pursuant to Article X, Section 6 of the Constitution of Virginia.
 
HB1061 (Surovell) – Made in Virginia Distributed Generation
Eliminates double and triple credits for solar, animal waste and on and offshore wind energy counted toward the RPS. Makes the 2024 goal 25%. Two year carry forward of certificates.
 
HB879, HB906, SB350 (Yost, Krupicka, Edwards) – Net metering bills
 
SB 350- Edwards Authorizes municipal (limit 5 mW) and multi-family unit (limit 500kW) renewable energy net metering. Defines renewable energy as solar power, wind power, or aerobic or anaerobic digester gas and landfill gas. Exempts multi-family generation from stand-by charges.
 
HB 906-Krupicka Authorizes municipal (limit 5 mW) and multi-family unit (limit 500kW) renewable energy net metering. Defines renewable energy as solar power, wind power, or aerobic or anaerobic digester gas and landfill
gas. Exempts multi-family generation from stand-by charges.
 
HB 879- Yost Authorizes municipal (limit 5 mW) and multi-family unit (limit 500kW) renewable energy net metering. Defines renewable energy as solar power, wind power, or aerobic or anaerobic digester gas and landfill gas. Exempts multi-family generation from stand-by charges.
 
HB818 (Lopez) – Virginia Commission on Energy and Environment
The Virginia Energy Plan is due to be updated in 2014, and boy, does it need it. Anyone who has ever tried to make sense of the plan has probably given it up as a hopeless hodgepodge of contradictory ideas. Anything you like, it’s in there. Anything you don’t like is in there, too, and none of it means anything because the provisions for the most part have no teeth. HB 818 (Lopez) hopes to turn this mishmash into a coherent plan for Virginia’s energy future by creating a new legislative commission to perform a comprehensive review of the energy landscape.
 
HB1001 (Yancey) – On-bill financing for energy efficiency
Advocates of clean energy say the best way to get homeowners and businesses to weatherize buildings and install efficiency upgrades is to let customers pay the cost through their utility bills, often out of the energy savings they reap.  HB 1001 (Yancey) would require utilities to offer on-bill financing for energy efficiency measures.
 
HB808 (Lopez) – Price Stability

Requires the State Corporation Commission, when required to approve the construction of any electrical utility facility, to consider the long-term price stability of any fuels used in the generation of energy from the facility.

Several legislators also participated throughout the day. Delegates Randy Minchew and Scott Surovell spoke at the morning’s briefing breakfast. Lobby Day was recognized from the floor of both Chambers; by Delegate Ron Villanueva in the House and by Senator Thomas Norment in the Senate.

Lobby Day culminated with a legislative reception with Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward offering keynote remarks. Lt. Governor Ralph Northam attended, as did nine Delegates and Senators, and 13 aides from various other legislative offices.

The 2014 Clean Energy Business Lobby Day was supported by Advanced Energy Industries and MDV-SEIA. Sponsorship support came from Iberdrola Renewables, Mid Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition (MAREC), Atlantic Wind Connection, MDV-SEIA and Secure Futures.

To view our photos of Clean Energy Lobby Day’s reception, access the link to our Flickr below!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/45255069@N07/sets/72157640063872834/

 

 

About the Author

Corrina Beall is the Legislative Coordinator for the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club.