Virginia Clean Energy Legislative Updates February 23, 2017

VA General Assembly finishing session this week, conservatives for clean energy reports on clean energy bills advancing

We are now in the final week of the legislative session, which is scheduled to adjourn on Saturday, February 25th. Committees have completed their work and all remaining issues are now before the full House and Senate. The budget conference agreement is being finalized and made available to members – House rules require the budget report to be available to members for 48 hours prior to a vote on final passage.  

Clean energy advocates in Richmond have largely focused on a series of bills that have advanced this session related to community solar, agricultural net metering, and expanding the renewable energy permit by rule. We reported on those bills earlier this month and by now all of the proposals have been approved by the General Assembly and sent to the governor:

Community Solar – SB1393
Approved by the General Assembly and Governor’s Action Due by March 27

Agricultural Net Metering – HB2303 and SB1394
Approved by the General Assembly and Governor’s Action Due by March 27

Renewable Energy Permit by Rule – SB1395
Approved by the General Assembly and Governor’s Action Due by March 27

Local Tax and Regulatory Incentives for Green Development – HB1565
Approved by the General Assembly and Signed by the Governor

Renewable Energy Pumped Storage Facilities – SB1418 and HB1760
Approved by the General Assembly, governor recommended technical amendment

Energy Performance Contracting – HB1712
Approved by the General Assembly and Governor’s Action Due by March 27

Once the General Assembly adjourns “Sine Die,” the House members will return to the district and begin their campaigns for re-election, with one notable exception.  Earlier this week, House Speaker Bill Howell announced that he will not seek re-election this fall, ending fifteen years of service as Speaker of the House and thirty years in the House of Delegates.  House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) is expected to be elected as the next Speaker.

At the conclusion of the legislative session, we will have a cumulative report on the wins and losses for clean energy issues during this session, and a look at what’s in store for the rest of 2017.