Library filed under Energy Policy from Virginia
As Virginia utilities prepare to comply with a new state renewable energy requirement, a recent regulatory ruling points to potential complications. A sweeping state energy law takes effect July 1 that, among other things, requires utilities to add 5,000 megawatts of wind and solar by 2028.
The capacity and energy from the generating facilities is not needed by APCo to serve its Virginia customers, the SCC said in its order.
The 15-year road map submitted Friday to the State Corporation Commission in Richmond, Va., includes the least-cost gas plan and what Dominion calls a "diversity plan" that includes large-scale wind development in the western part of the state and solar generation of up to 200 megawatts of power. ...The plan providing for large-scale renewable development reflects the likelihood of more stringent U.S. carbon emission controls.
The change means utilities, such as Dominion Virginia Power, will no longer be eligible for a bonus for obtaining a certain portion of their energy from renewable sources, such as solar power. Reduced incentives remain for nuclear and offshore wind power.
Charles Stacy, eastern district representative on the board of supervisors said that the Virginia Association of Counties has expressed concerns about SB 1341, the renewable energy facilities; exemption from land use regulations," bill that was introduced in the General Assembly by State Senator Richard L. Saslaw, D-Springfield. "VACo is adamantly opposed to this bill for reasons other than windmills."
State Senator Richard L. Saslaw, D-Springfield, introduced Senate Bill 1341, the "Renewable energy facilities; exemption from land use regulations," bill. According to the bill summary, the bill: "Exempts certain electrical generation facilities powered by renewable sources of energy from local zoning and land use requirements.
Environmental groups say Virginia‘s renewable-energy program is a loophole-riddled corporate giveaway that allows utilities to boost rates without building a single wind or solar facility in the Old Dominion. Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli calls the whole subsidy arrangement a waste.
The Obama administration's proposal to exclude Virginia from offshore drilling exploration has angered many top politicians in the commonwealth who view drilling as a potential source of jobs. But the decision has reinvigorated environmentalists' arguments that there's more to gain from wind power.
A euphemism for "permit by executive edict," it allows for favored projects to escape troublesome due-process reviews by the Department of Environmental Quality and local citizens. "Friends-of-Bob" trumps local constituents' concerns and environmental impacts.
The Senate's Commerce and Labor Committee agreed Monday to amend a controversial energy bill sought Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach. The bill as originally written by Wagner threatened to override Tazewell County's existing ridgeline protection ordinance. The committee members instead adopted a substitute bill that would not override existing county ordinances.
"We're trying to develop the technology. It is extremely expensive," said Tim Mallan, APCo manager of environmental affairs. Most of the rate hikes customers have seen in recent years resulted from the costs of federal mandates, APCo spokesman Todd Burns said. When new regulations make it more expensive to use carbon- rich coal, "that has an effect on rates," Burns said.
In this season of giving, it is worthy to note the generosity of the Virginia legislature to the renewable-energy lobby. State Sen. Frank Wagner's website lists his visionary Virginia Energy Plan (VEP), passed in the 2006 Virginia General Assembly, during the heyday of climate change hysteria.
People seeking a state permit to develop small wind-energy projects in Virginia may receive a quicker answer from the Department of Environmental Quality, thanks to new authority given to the agency. But that doesn't mean major wind projects, whether offshore or on land, will sprout in Virginia any faster than they otherwise would.
As of Jan. 1, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will accept applications for wind power projects. Currently, applicants go through the State Corporation Commission. And cases will be decided within 90 days, compared with the years it took for the state's first permitted wind farm.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has proposed regulations for a Permit by Rule for so-called "small wind energy projects." The proposed regulations fall well short of satisfying the DEQ's legislative mandate to "include conditions and standards necessary to protect the commonwealth's natural resources."
Nearly everyone agrees that some form of offshore energy will help bring much needed jobs to Virginia. ...There is particular interest in energy off the coast of Virginia but environmentalists, and the U.S. Navy, have some concerns. The Navy is worried wind towers and oil rigs could interfere with radar facilities as well as training exercises.
Gov. Bob McDonnell signed into law Wednesday offshore drilling legislation intended to realize his goal of making Virginia the East Coast's energy superpower. The bills supporting offshore oil and gas exploration and directing royalties from drilling back to Virginia each hinge on actions by the federal government and Congress.
With the wind turbine debate over with at least for the moment, and the mystery surrounding the large boom folks heard across Tazewell well - still a mystery - one might assume that things might quiet down a little bit in Tazewell County. ...Maybe there were a few lessons for our region and our nation to learn from this story.
Judging by the early success the newly created Virginia Offshore Wind Coalition has had in attracting support from private industry and the political world, it's clear just about everyone wants to stake a claim in the rush to develop a multibillion-dollar wind-generated energy industry off the Atlantic coast.
The area is currently divided over a proposed wind energy project along East River Mountain in Tazewell County stretching from Bluefield to Springville. Not surprisingly, the project has strong sentiment on both sides. ...Because of its negatives wind power was not considered a serious method of producing electricity; fossil fuels are far superior ...[but given the] fear of global catastrophe, wind, solar and other green sources have gained an undeserved degree of credibility and importance.