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Virginia Mercury: Regulator Recommends Approval of Dominion's Renewable Rate Scheme, with Conditions

Posted by Sarah Vogelsong on Apr 24, 2020

Virginia Mercury covered Va. utility regulator conditions for Dominion Energy's proposed renewable energy offering, quoting Virginia AEE's Harry Godfrey. Read excerpts below and the entire Virginia Mercury piece here. 

A utility regulator is recommending that the State Corporation Commission approve a proposal by Dominion Energy to offer a renewable energy package opposed by a host of environmental and business groups — but only if Dominion can sign up at least 15,000 customers in six months. The report released Tuesday is only a recommendation by Hearing Examiner Mary Beth Adams, but it provides an indication of how the commission, which has decision-making power, may approach the case’s key points.

The “green tariff” proposal has sparked broad interest since Dominion filed its application with the SCC last May for two key reasons: the energy portfolio it relies on includes power from a plant fired largely with coal, and if approved, the program could curtail further development of Virginia’s fledgling renewables market. Under a 2009 change to Virginia law, the proportion of energy produced at a co-fired electric power plant due to the burning of biomass was legally defined as “renewable energy,” even if the plant otherwise relied on fossil fuels. In practice, that has meant that because about 7 percent of the fuel mix for Dominion’s Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise County is currently biomass, the utility can, per state law, declare 7 percent of the plant’s output to be renewable energy...

Overall, the portfolio is not “in line with what the vast majority of consumers who are looking for 100 percent renewable energy tariffs are looking for,” said Harry Godfrey, executive director of Virginia Advanced Energy Economy, a business group that advocates for renewables development. Dominion, however, argued that disallowing the inclusion of the VCHEC energy would contradict the “plain language of the statute, as well as the policy determination made by the General Assembly concerning which resources qualify as ‘renewable energy’ in Virginia...”

Read the entire Virginia Mercury piece here. 

Topics: AEE In The News