As 2020 VA General Assembly Opens, it's Do or Die for Solar in Virginia

As 2020 VA General Assembly Opens, it's Do or Die for Solar in Virginia

Without meaningful change in solar policy, the state will hit a cap this year, bringing all expansion of solar in Virginia to a halt.

The 2020 General Assembly opened today as many of our state legislators begin the two-month sprint to pass legislation reflective of the blue wave mandate delivered in November. Here at Ipsun, we believe that climate change should be the number one issue on our legislators' minds, and we are ready to get to work and make that happen.

From now until March, we have big plans to push our legislators in every way we can, and we need you by our side. We'll need everyone's voice to let them know we want policies that will support renewable energy in our state, help us keep creating high quality jobs and growing our local economy, and allow us to meet the 10-year carbon reduction goals set forth by scientists around the world. Additionally, our lawmakers must recognize that without solar policy reform, the current caps on the amount of solar permitted in Virginia for residential, PPAs and commercial could be reached within about six months. This will essentially stop all distributed solar projects from being installed in Virginia for good. For the good of our planet and our children's future, we cannot let this happen.

There are three specific goals Ipsun would like to see realized:

  1. Raise the 1% cap on the total amount of solar that can be net metered in a utility territory.
  2. Increase the Solar Power Purchase Agreement cap in the Dominion Energy service area from 50 MW to 500 MW.
  3. Raise the limit on a customer's permissible net-metered solar installation size from 100% of their previous 12 months’ demand to 125% of their previous 12 months' demand.

Without these changes, and without continuing to expand solar in our state, there is no possible way that Virginia can reach Governor Northam's executive order calling for 30% of VA electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% by 2050. We want to fight for businesses and homeowners to have the right to own their power and join the effort to combat climate change. Read on to see all the ways you can join us!

IMG_4602Delegate Elizabeth Guzman, co-patron of the Virginia Green New Deal, celebrates Opening Day with at the GNDVA rally.

There are several bills we're specifically watching and asking our Delegates and Senators to support:

  • The Green New Deal Act. HB77, Patron: Delegate Sam Rasoul. Creates a mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standard for Virginia, which sets a target date for 100% clean energy by 2036. Helps transition fossil fuel workers to renewable energy jobs, like solar installers, and makes sure no one is left behind as we create a clean energy future. Also includes a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure after January 1, 2021.
  • The Clean Economy Act. Patron: Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy. Meets or exceeds Ipsun's goals and legalizes community solar. Creates a mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standard for Virginia, which sets target dates for 60% clean energy by 2036 and 100% by 2050.
  • The Solar Freedom Act. HB572, Patron: Delegate Mark Keam. This bill meets or exceeds all of Ipsun's goals and we support it wholeheartedly.

Please contact your legislators and let them know you support these bills! Here's how:

Call the switchboard at the General Assembly at (804) 698-1500 for the House and (804) 698-7410 for the Senate and tell them your address. They'll connect you with your legislators. Once connected, just tell the staffer on the phone that you support these bills and why. They'll note your comments. These calls are taken very seriously by the legislators and influence their decision making. It's easy and makes a big difference so pick up that phone today.

Read more on our Policy Page to learn about opportunities to get informed and involved!


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