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Virginia Mercury: Legislation Aims to Reduce Barriers for Energy Storage Projects

Posted by Sarah Vogelsong on Jan 20, 2021

Virginia Mercury outlined how state lawmakers are pushing for renewables including wind, solar, energy storage, quoting Virginia Advanced Energy Economy’s Harry Godfrey. Read excerpts below and the full piece here.

In 2020, lawmakers seeking to speed the development of renewables and wean Virginia off fossil fuels made a host of changes to state law that aimed to smooth local approvals of large-scale solar farms. This year, they’re wielding the same tools to encourage the growth of energy storage.

A rapidly evolving technology, storage — a label that encompasses not only batteries but also more traditional approaches like reservoir-based pumped storage — is seen as the linchpin of a renewable energy grid. Utilities have long struggled with the intermittency of solar and wind—  their ability to generate power based on when and how much the sun is shining or the wind blowing. Storage, because of its ability to retain energy and then dispatch it on command, has become one of the most popular solutions to fill that gap… 

[Del. Rodney] Willett’s House Bill 2148 would extend an existing form of state review, the permit by rule program, to the new technology… a budget proposal from Del. David Reid, D-Loudoun, would add $115,000 to the department’s budget for a new position dedicated to storage projects undergoing PBR review… and [Del. Stephen] Heretick’s House Bill 2006 would extend both the revenue sharing model and the declining tax exemptions to energy storage projects…  [Additional measures] would allow local governments to strike the same kind of siting agreements now permitted for solar projects with storage developers… 

Many renewables advocates favor the measures, which Harry Godfrey, executive director of clean energy business group Virginia Advanced Energy Economy, described as aiming to ensure “storage is able to move as smoothly as wind and solar are in Virginia.” 

“Storage has arrived in Virginia and arrived at a scale where we are rapidly moving past where we were three years ago,” he said. “Now we’re going to see this, whether it’s in conjunction as part of a hybrid project or as a standalone (project).”

Read the full story here.

Topics: AEE In The News