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Northam signs renewable energy legislation

Legislation that aims to accelerate Virginia’s transition to carbon-free energy generation has been ceremonially signed.
Governor Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act on Tuesday, establishing energy efficiency standards and providing a pathway for new investments in solar, onshore and offshore wind, and energy storage.

“We are at a pivotal moment to secure an affordable, clean energy future in Virginia,” said Northam. “Together, these pieces of legislation put the Commonwealth in position to meet the urgency of the climate crisis, and lead the transition to renewable energy in a way that captures the economic, environmental, and health benefits for all Virginians. And these bills also send a strong, clear message about the broader impacts of pollution that must be considered when choosing our energy resources.”

According to a release, this legislation created a mandatory renewable portfolio standard to achieve 30 percent renewable energy by 2030.

It also mandates an energy efficiency resource standard and a path to a carbon-free electric grid by 2045.

Additionally, the bill says that 16,100 megawatts of solar and onshore wind, 5,200 megawatts of offshore wind, and 2,700 megawatts of energy storage are in the public interest of the Commonwealth.

Northam also signed legislation advancing shared solar and energy storage programs, transforms the rooftop solar market, directing the State Corporation Commission to determine when electric utilities should retire coal-fired or natural gas-fired electric generation facilities, supporting new investments in solar energy, and more.

To learn more about clean energy legislation that passed the 2020 General Assembly’s regular session, click here.