Clean energy future; electric energy sold to be generated from renewable generation energy sources. (SB446)

Introduced By

Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) with support from 18 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. William Barlow (D-Smithfield), Del. Joe Bouchard (D-Virginia Beach), Del. Bob Brink (D-Arlington), Del. Al Eisenberg (D-Arlington), Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria), Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge), Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston), Del. David Poisson (D-Sterling), Del. Jim Scott (D-Merrifield), Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville), Del. Shannon Valentine (D-Lynchburg), Del. Margi Vanderhye (D-McLean), Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke), Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke), Sen. Roscoe Reynolds (D-Martinsville), Sen. Patsy Ticer (D-Alexandria), Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Clean energy future. Requires that by the year commencing July 1, 2020, and in subsequent years, 20% of the electric energy sold by each supplier to retail customers in the Commonwealth be generated from renewable generation energy sources, and that each supplier achieve reductions in the consumption of electric energy by its retail customers, through the supplier's implementation of energy efficiency programs, in an amount equal to 10% of the amount of electric energy consumed by its retail customers in 2007. The requirements are phased in over a period commencing July 1, 2008. The 20% requirement for renewable generation energy sources is comprised of three categories of renewable energy sources, each of which has separate percentage requirements. Generators of renewable energy receive renewable energy credits for power generated through eligible renewable sources or conserved through energy efficiency programs. Suppliers who do not comply with the minimum percentage requirements are required to make alternative compliance payments into a new Virginia Sustainable Energy Fund. Distributors are authorized to recover incremental costs of compliance under the procedure for recovery of the costs of purchased power. Electric cooperatives and municipal electric utilities are exempted from the measure. Generators of eligible renewable energy using certain components manufactured within the Commonwealth receive double the amount of renewable energy credits. The Secretary of Commerce and Trade is directed to develop incentives for renewable energy manufacturing in the coalfield region of Virginia. The measure also (i) creates a Clean Energy Fund and (ii) establishes a commercial in-state production tax credit of 0.06 cents per kWh for solar photovoltaic energy and 0.03 cents per kWh for wind energy. Finally, Secretary of Commerce and Trade is directed to develop a Green Jobs program that will provide training for workers in new industries relating to the field of alternative energies, including the manufacture and operation of products used to generate electricity and other forms of energy from alternative sources. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/09/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08
01/09/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 080110293
01/09/2008Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
02/04/2008Impact statement from DPB (SB446)
02/11/2008Failed to report (defeated) in Commerce and Labor (3-Y 12-N) (see vote tally)


Christine Llewellyn writes:

If business as usual is Plan A, we are long overdue for Plan B. In the words of Lester Brown, we are violating deadlines that we do not recognize, deadlines set by nature, and we can't see the clock. It is past time to set a course for clean, sustainable, renewable energy, and stop generating polluting electricity.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I don't understand why this bill is limited to providing a tax credit for commercially-generated energy. What does the state care if I live where I generate my power? This is specifically defined as such:

For purposes of this section, "commercial clean energy production facility" means a 881 nonresidential facility located within the Commonwealth at which electricity is generated through the 882 use of solar photovoltaic technology or wind power and that further complies with such criteria as are 883 established by the State Corporation Commission in a proceeding conducted pursuant to subsection C.

Generating excess power and selling it back to the power company ("net metering") is a really lousy deal right now. The power company pays the same for clean power as they charge for coal-generated power, yet the free market has shown clearly that people will pay substantially more for clean power. Lots of people are installing solar panels on their homes, but far more would do so if there was a financial incentive to do so. Why prohibit these people from getting this tax credit? Do I have to subdivide my land, carve off a quarter acre, start a corporation, and put that land in the name of my corporation just to get this tax credit? That just seems goofy.

Va. Conservation Network, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

Energy - Support

Bill Charlton writes:

Only through setting clear, aggressive public policy targets will the world's critical energy and pollution issues get addressed. I like the way this bill sets an achievable goal to get 20% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Other states including North Carolina, Maryland, and California have all passed similar legislation in recent years. In fact, many other countries including Germany, England, and China have taken action to set similar targets for clean energy generation. Email or meet with your representatives to let them know you support this bill. Let's not wait another year.

rick kennerly writes:

it is important to support this bill, even though it does not go as far as some would like. Those of us in the community need to be FOR something, not constantly against things.

Glenn Short writes:

It's obvious that VA politicians who voted against this bill are immune to bad air and toxins of any kind. They are a people apart--perhaps Martians. The rest of us, ordinary vulnerable people, have to ask these politicians to emerge from their protective bubble and learn to live as do their constituents, exposed to health problems caused by votes of elected politicians.