A BRIGHT FUTURE for VIRGINIA
Toscano's HB1686 (2011) Clears Path for SCC's Approval of Pilot Solar Energy Generation Project
Charlottesville, VA - Responding to a 2011 Bill introduced by Delegate David Toscano, the State Corporation Commission on Wednesday approved Dominion Virginia Power's request to initiate pilot solar-energy generation projects in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Dominion proposes to construct up to 30 MW of solar distributed generation facilities, using approximately 30 - 50 installations that would be owned by Dominion but be placed on leased commercial, industrial and community locations, such as rooftops.
Cale Jaffe, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, said that without the efforts of Delegate Toscano this project would not have been possible. "This is an essential first step towards the beginning of a solar energy boom in Virginia, and his bill was a key to the SCC approval".
HB 1686, passed in the 2011 session, directed the SCC to consider for approval utility petitions for distributed solar energy generation facilities. Delegate Toscano, the patron of HB 1686 and the Democratic Leader in the Virginia House of Delegates, expressed pleasure at the SCC action.
"This effort shows that great things can be accomplished when environmental groups and utilities work together; this project could lead to a dramatic expansion of solar-energy generation in Virginia"
According to Dominion Virginia Power, the demonstration project should provide enough electricity to power about 6000 homes during peak daylight hours, and is estimated to add less than 20 cents to a typical residential electric bill. The initial phase of the project is expected by the end of 2013.