Electricity and energy development; generation in the Commonwealth. (HB894)

Introduced By

Del. Terry Kilgore (R-Gate City)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Generation of electricity and energy development in the Commonwealth. Prohibits an electric generating unit located in the coalfield region of the Commonwealth capable of generating electricity from waste coal that began commercial operations after January 1, 2010, from being required to retire before such unit reaches the end of its useful life. The bill repeals provisions of the Virginia Clean Economy Act that prohibit the State Corporation Commission from issuing a certificate of public convenience and necessity for any investor-owned utility to own, operate, or construct any electric generating unit that emits carbon as a by-product of combusting fuel to generate electricity until the General Assembly receives a certain report from the Secretary of Natural Resources and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and that authorize such Secretaries to recommend a future moratorium on the issuing of such certificates. The bill establishes the Southside Virginia Energy Research and Development Authority (the Authority) to promote opportunities for energy development in Southside Virginia, to create jobs and economic activity in Southside Virginia consistent with the Virginia Energy Plan, and to position Southside Virginia and the Commonwealth as a leader in energy workforce and energy technology research and development. The bill provides that the Authority is composed of 11 nonlegislative members, of whom four are appointed by the Governor, four are appointed by the Speaker of the House, and three are appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. The Authority is charged with, among other tasks, (i) leveraging the strength in energy research and workforce development of Virginia's public and private institutions of higher education; (ii) supporting the development of pump storage hydropower in Southside Virginia and energy storage generally; (iii) promoting the development of renewable energy generation facilities on brownfield sites, including abandoned mine sites; (iv) promoting energy workforce development; (v) promoting the deployment of broadband in Southside Virginia; and (vi) assisting energy technology research and development by promoting the development of a Southside Virginia Energy Park. The Authority has a sunset date of July 1, 2032. The bill also adds the promotion of the deployment of broadband in Southwest Virginia as a duty of the existing Southwest Virginia Energy Research and Development Authority. The bill requires the Center for Rural Virginia (the Center), to develop and maintain, in coordination with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Virginia Cooperative Extension, a map or repository of prime farmland located in the Commonwealth. The Center is required to provide localities access to the map or repository to aid in the evaluation of siting a solar project or energy storage project. The Board of Trustees of the Center is required to report to the Governor and the General Assembly an initial report on the development of such prime farmland map or repository by December 1, 2022. The bill requires the Department of Energy, in cooperation with the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority, to convene a stakeholder work group to identify strategies and any needed public policies, including statutory or regulatory changes, for (a) promoting the development of advanced small modular reactors in localities in the Commonwealth that formerly hosted fossil fuel electric generation facilities and that have expressed interest in acting as a host site through resolution by their governing board and (b) siting such reactors on brownfield sites or former military sites in such localities. Finally, the bill requires the Department of Energy to consider the economic development of rural Virginia a key priority in completing its update to the Virginia Energy Plan scheduled for 2022. Read the Bill »


01/12/2022: In Committee


01/12/2022Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/12/22 22103708D
01/12/2022Referred to Committee on Commerce and Energy

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