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Virginia’s passage of the Clean Economy Act this year serves as a model for how legislation and regulation can foster growth in the energy storage industry. The overall objective of the CEA was to transition Virginia’s electric grid to 100% carbon-free resources by 2050, which entail a significant build out of clean energy assets while ensuring energy equity and environmental justice. Virginia started with a solar authority that added energy storage to its mandate in 2017, got funding for an energy storage study in 2018, and then produced that study in August 2019. Then “the world turned upside down” in the words of the Hamilton song when Governor Northam on September 16, 2019 issued Executive Order 43, which launched Virginia to the forefront of state renewable energy efforts as the order ultimately got translated into the Clean Economy Act.
Virginia went from a “voluntary” RPS to a “mandatory” RPS with 30% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050, specific energy equity goals, mandatory rather than aspirational energy efficiency standards, and aggressive renewable energy generation targets (16,100 MW of solar and onshore wind, 5,200 MW of offshore wind are in the public interest). Energy storage went from a focus on legacy pumped hydro facilities to a directive that 2,700 MW of energy storage is in the public interest, following on Executive Order 43 focus on grid integration of storage and pairing with renewable generation.
Our panelists will address that August 2019 energy storage study, the overlay of federal regulatory developments, insights from Virginia’s largest utility as to how all this will get done, and the perspective of a Georgia regulator on what the energy storage landscape looks like from another southern state.
Moderator: Cliona Mary Robb, Director, Thompson McMullan, P.C.
- Michael Herbert, Co-Founder/Managing Partner, Delorean Power
- William Gathright, PhD, CEO, Tumalow Energy Storage
- Jamie Barber, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Manager, Georgia Public Service Commission
- Emil Avram, Vice President of Business Development, Dominion Energy Virginia’s renewable energy development group
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