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GTM2: Virginia Just Created an Energy Storage Market Out of Thin Air

Posted by Julian Spector | Greentech Media on Mar 18, 2020

GTM Squared explains the new storage market opportunity created by the just-passed Virginia Clean Economy Act, quoting AEE's Harry Godfrey. Read excerpts below and the entire GTM2 piece here (sub. req.).

A new energy bill makes Virginia a market to watch... Virginia, as it stands today, can hardly be called an energy storage market. But its legislature just passed a clean-energy omnibus bill so comprehensive and thorough that, almost overnight, it converted the state into a storage market to watch.

Richmond’s entry sets a new standard for ambitious clean energy policy. Not only does it call for closing fossil-fueled plants by midcentury, but it also introduces energy-efficiency savings targets for the first time in the state’s history, ramps onshore renewables by 16 gigawatts, targets 5.2 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2034, lifts caps on distributed generation, and commits the state to joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Gov. Ralph Northam still needs to sign the Virginia Clean Economy Act, but he effectively asked for it in an executive order last year...

But it’s the energy storage-specific points that we’ll focus on because they make Virginia the next emerging East Coast market to watch. The specifics still have to be worked out, but one thing is clear: The state will have to buy massive amounts of batteries as well as long-duration storage in the next 15 years to obey the law and balance the influx of renewables.

The bill sets a storage procurement mandate of 2.7 gigawatts by 2035 for Dominion Energy, the state’s largest investor-owned utility. Appalachian Power Co. must obtain 400 megawatts. And regulators will pick interim targets to ensure that the long-term target has real teeth and gets things moving right away...

“Last year, we were talking about pilots; this year, we’re talking about 2.7 gigawatts of storage,” said Dominion energy storage specialist Ricky Elder III, who manages business development in the Regulated Power Generation team...

Beyond the changing political tides in Richmond, where Democrats took control of the legislature last November, the bill’s passage attests to what happens when clean energy trade groups and environmental advocates team up.

“This shows the power of a new coalition to advance really interesting energy and climate legislation in the Commonwealth,” said Harry Godfrey, executive director of the Virginia chapter of the Advanced Energy Economy industry group.

By uniting those two contingents, the bill didn’t just say no to something (fossil-fueled power); rather, it suggested a desirable alternative...

Read the entire GTM2 piece here (sub. req.).

Topics: AEE In The News