HB1686: Electric utilities; limitations on fossil fuel facilities.

HOUSE BILL NO. 1686

Offered January 9, 2019
Prefiled December 6, 2018
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 56-585.1:8, relating to electric utility regulation; limiting reliance on electricity generated at fossil fuel facilities.
Patrons-- Reid and Boysko

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 56-585.1:8 as follows:

§ 56-585.1:8. Limitations on reliance on electricity generated at fossil fuel facilities.

A. As used in this section:

"Fossil fuel" means natural gas, petroleum, coal, and any form of solid, liquid, or gaseous fuel derived from such materials for the purpose of creating useful heat.

"Fossil fuel facility" means an electric generating unit that produces energy through the combustion of any fossil fuel.

"Renewable energy" means energy derived from sunlight, wind, falling water, wave motion, tides, and geothermal power. "Renewable energy" does not include energy derived from fossil fuel.

B. On and after July 1, 2019, the Commission shall not issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity or grant any other permit or approval required for the construction or operation of any new fossil fuel facility or for the expansion or continued operation of an existing fossil fuel facility before first approving the construction and placing in service of renewable energy generation facilities having in the aggregate a rated capacity of 5,500 megawatts as described in subsections A and B of § 56-585.1:4.

C. The Commission shall not authorize or permit an electric utility or re-permit an existing idle fossil fuel facility on or after July 1, 2019, to increase purchases of electric power, under any agreement with another person, including another electric utility or any non-utility generator, if the electric power is or will be generated at a fossil fuel facility, before first approving the construction and placing in service of renewable energy generation facilities having in the aggregate a rated capacity of 5,500 megawatts as described in subsections A and B of § 56-585.1:4.

D. The prohibitions set forth in this section shall apply without regard to whether the fossil fuel facility is located within or outside of the electric utility's certificated service territory or the Commonwealth.

E. This section shall be known as the Renewables First Act.