Advocacy lies at the core of Virginia AEE's work. Through effective engagement with policymakers, elected officials, and regulators, we seek to build an open, competitive marketplace for advanced energy goods and services. Employing advanced energy will allow Virginia to build a more secure, clean, and affordable energy system.
Planning for Virginia’s Energy Future
Each Virginia Governor is obligated to put together a long-term “Energy Plan” for the Commonwealth. In 2018, the Northam’s Administration conducted an in-depth process to solicit feedback from stakeholders regarding policies to encourage more solar, on-shore and offshore wind, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and battery storage in the Commonwealth. Virginia AEE, as a leading voice for advanced energy businesses in Virginia, engaged closely with the Administration throughout that process and provided detailed comments.
In May of 2018, Dominion Energy, Virginia's largest utility, submitted their Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to the State Corporation Commission (SCC). The IRP lays out a 15-year plan the utility intends to follow to meet anticipated changes in load and regulation. Using projections from the utility's filing, expert testimony from the advanced energy industry, and the STEP model - a least-cost resource planning tool developed by AEE - we developed an alternative IRP. Our analysis indicates that, though greater deployment of advanced energy, Dominion can reduce impacts to consumers, and energy imports while fully complying with potential future carbon regulations.
Virginia AEE Policy Goals
Virginia AEE has five overarching policy goals: Improving Energy Productivity; Expanding Market Access; Driving Transportation Electrification; Accelerating Renewable Energy Deployment; and Building a 21st Century Energy System. Below you will find detailed information regarding each of these goals and our policy agenda.
Improving Energy Productivity
Virginians deserve secure, clean, affordable energy. Energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) offer some of the cleanest and most cost-effective ways for customers to meet their energy needs. Unfortunately our Commonwealth still lags when it comes to utilizing these resources. Changing that requires fully realizing their value, enhancing transparency, and improving market structures and incentives.
Expanding Market Access
Recent years have seen marked growth in advanced energy. A key driver of that growth has been demand from consumers large and small. These consumers need an array of advanced energy options to meet specific goals. Virginia has a number of has a number of such options, but to date they’ve fallen short of meeting the needs of consumers. Changing this requires well-designed renewable tariffs, and access to competitive service providers (CSPs) and power-purchase agreements (PPAs).
Driving Transportation Electrification
The U.S. is poised to witness a transportation revolution, as we transition from fossil-fired transportation to electric vehicles (EVs). This transition, both in light-duty vehicles and heavy-duty fleets, brings with it a host of economic, energy, and health benefits. For Virginia to fully realize these benefits our Commonwealth needs a robust, accessible charging network, complimentary regulations, and effective incentives.
Accelerating Renewable Energy Deployment
Across the U.S., the price of renewable power has fallen dramatically. Virginia has taken steps towards accelerating the deployment of wind and solar, committing to over 5,000 MW in the next ten years. To meet and surpass that goal the Commonwealth should improve permitting processes, ensure that utility procurements are predictable, transparent, and competitive, and expand market access. Moreover we should ensure these resources are fully valued for the range of benefits they provide to the grid, consumers, and the environment.
Building a 21st Century Energy System
The U.S. utility sector has entered a period of change not seen in decades. This change is being driven by new technologies, evolving customer needs, and an increased focus on grid resiliency. Virginia has taken early steps towards “grid modernization” but we have a long way to go. Modernization should create greater customer choice, enhance the utilization of distributed resources, and improve flexibility, while keeping costs in check. Achieving these goals will require the deliberate engagement of regulators, policymakers, and consumers.