EZ Policies for Virginia
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|Policy||Place||Policy Type||Active||Implementing Sector||Summary|
|Air Pollution Control Board (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations||Yes||State/Province||The Air Division in the Department of Environmental Quality and the State Air Pollution Control Board work together to control present and future sources of air pollution. The Division's core responsibilities include: (a) Developing and implementing programs designed to ensure that Virginia meets national air quality standards; (b) Regulating the emission of air pollutants from industries and facilities by issuing and ensuring compliance with permits that set limits that protect public health; (c) Monitoring Virginia's air quality; (d) Investigating complaints and violations of Virginia's air quality laws; and (e) Developing state rules governing air quality standards. The Division also provides assistance to small businesses to help them to meet emissions standards.|
|Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Authority (Virginia)||Virginia||Enterprise Zone|
Public Benefits Fund
|Yes||Local||The Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Authority was created to encourage economic development in the Alleghany Highlands. The Authority provides financial support for the purchase of real estate, construction of buildings for sale or lease, installation of utilities and any other support improvements it deems necessary, including flood control dams, and for direct loans and grants to private for-profit basic employers. The Authority also administers a business incubator program in the region. The Alleghany Highlands are also designated as an Enterprise Zone by the Commonwealth of Virginia, so businesses locating within the region can take advantage of other state financial incentives. The Authority has a specific section concerning the development of wind energy in the Alleghany highlands, including a listing of potential development properties.|
|Arlington County - Green Building Incentive Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Green Building Incentive||Yes||Local|
The Green Building Density Incentive program allows the County Board of Arlington to consider a modification of use regulations for additional density between .20 and .45 FAR for office buildings and between .25 and .50 FAR for residential buildings and/or additional height up to 3 stories for special exception site plan requests. The site plan proposal must guarantee a minimum level of energy savings and a LEED rating at the Silver, Gold or Platinum level, for the bonus to be approved. An additional 0.10 FAR may be awarded to buildings that commit to LEED certification and minimum energy savings plus either ENERGY STAR building certification or LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) certification.
The minimum level of energy savings for office and commercial projects is 20% above the baseline ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standard as defined under LEED EA Credit 1 – Optimize Energy Performance in the LEED 2009 rating system. The minimum level of energy savings for residential development is 18% above the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 baseline. All project owners will also be asked to provide ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager utility reporting data after occupancy each year for 10 years.
The provision of LEED-certified green building components does not guarantee additional density and/or height, or any particular amount of density or height. The FAR bonuses are the maximum allowed for each level of LEED certification. Site plan requests for bonus density and/or height will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis based on the characteristics of individual sites.
Developers who participate in the site plan process (meaning their projects are special exceptions to the Zoning Ordinance) and do not agree to achieve official LEED certification are required to contribute $0.045/sq ft. The Green Building Fund is used to provide education and outreach to developers and the community on green building issues. If the building later receives LEED certification, the fee will be refunded. Those projects that agree to achieve LEED certification do not have to contribute.
|Chesapeake Bay Preservation Programs (Multiple States)||Maryland|
|Siting and Permitting||Yes||State/Province||The Chesapeake Bay Program is a unique regional partnership that has led and directed the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay since 1983. The Chesapeake Bay Program partners include the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative body; the Environmental Protection Agency, representing the federal government; and participating citizen advisory groups.
The Chesapeake Executive Council was established by the Chesapeake Bay Agreement of 1983. Under the 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement, membership changed from cabinet secretaries to the governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia; the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the mayor of the District of Columbia; and the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a legislative body serving Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The Council: (a) Establishes the policy direction for the restoration and protection of the Bay and its living resources; (b) Exerts leadership to marshal public support for the Bay effort; (c) Signs directives, agreements and amendments that set goals and guide policy for Bay restoration; and (d) Is accountable to the public for progress made under the Bay agreements.The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality administers complementary programs and regulations to prevent future pollution and degradation of the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding lands. More information can be found here: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/ChesapeakeBay.aspx
|Chesapeake Bay, Drilling for Oil or Gas Prohibited (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations||Yes||Local||Drilling for oil or gas in the waters or within 500 hundred feet from the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay or any of its tributaries is prohibited. If a person or entity desires to drill for oil or gas in any area of Tidewater Virginia where drilling is not prohibited, an environmental impact assessment is required as part of the permit to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. Other provisions under the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality then apply. No permits for oil production wells will be issued until the Governor has had an opportunity to review the report and make recommendations, in the public interest, for legislative and regulatory changes, and that legislation has become effective.|
|City of Danville - Net Metering (Virginia)||Virginia||Net Metering||Yes||Local||For a renewable fuel generator with a capacity of 25 kilowatts (kW) or less, a notification form shall be submitted at least 30 days prior to the date the customer intends to interconnect their renewable fuel generator to the Utility's facilities. Renewable fuel generators with capacity over 25 kW are required to submit forms no later than 60 days prior to planned interconnection. The Utility will review and determine whether the requirements for Interconnection have been met. More information on this process may be found in the Danville Utility Commission's Electric Rate Schedule and Riders.
A customer may begin operation of their renewable energy generator once the conditions of interconnection have been met. These include:
* Notification to utility of intent to interconnect * Installation of a lockable, utility accessible, load breaking manual disconnect switch * Certification of manual disconnect switch by a licensed electrician * Compliance with IEEE Standard 1547, Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems, certified by vendor * Utility inspection of static and nonstatic inverter-connected renewable fuel generators * Requirements specific to systems generating over 25kW are held to further requirements available in the Electric Rate Schedule and Riders
Interconnection of a net metering system will not be allowed if installation will cause the total generated AC current capacity of all interconnected renewable energy generators within the utility service to exceed 1.0% of the most recent peak load.Renewable fuel generators with a rated capacity less than 10kW shall maintain homeowners, commercial, or other insurance providing coverage in the amount of at least $100,000 for the liability of the insured against loss arising out of the use of a renewable fuel generator, and for a renewable fuel generator with a rated capacity exceeding 10kW such coverage shall be in the amount of at least $300,000.
|Clean Coal Projects (Virginia)||Virginia||Siting and Permitting||Yes||State/Province||This legislation directs the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board to facilitate the construction and implementation of clean coal projects by expediting the permitting process for such projects.|
|Clean Energy Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Industry Recruitment/Support||Yes||State/Territory||In April 2011, Virginia created the Clean Energy Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program. The program is meant to replace the Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program and the Biofuels Production Incentive Grant Program, which will be phased out by 2013 and 2017, respectively. Money is appropriated to the fund at the discretion of the General Assembly.
The governor may reduce the capital investment and full-time job minimums if the manufacturer is located in an area with an unemployment rate of 1.25 times the statewide average unemployment rate of the previous year. For wind manufacturers, the capital investment minimum is $10 million and the job minimum is 30.
The state will begin awarding grants on July 1, 2012.
|Climate Action Plan (Virginia)||Virginia||Climate Policies||Yes||State/Province||Governor Timothy M. Kaine established the Governor's Commission on Climate Change in December 2007. The commission prepared a plan for Virginia that identified ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. During the development of the plan, the commission took the following steps:
Inventoried the amount of and contributors to Virginia’s greenhouse gas emissions, including emissions projections through 2025
Inventory and projection of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2000 – 2025) - added 12.19.2008 Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (1990 - 1999) - added 12.19.2008
GHG inventory - final draft
Evaluated the expected impacts of climate change on Virginia’s citizens, natural resources and economy
Identify climate change approaches being pursued by other states, regions and the federal government
Identified what Virginia needs to do to prepare for the likely consequences of climate change Identified any actions (beyond those identified in the Virginia Energy Plan) that need to be taken to achieve the 30 percent greenhouse gas reduction goalThe Virginia Energy Plan, released in September 2007, set a goal for the Commonwealth to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2025. The reduction in emissions will be partially achieved through energy conservation and renewable energy actions listed in the energy plan.
|Coal Mine Safety Act (Virginia)||Virginia||Safety and Operational Guidelines||Yes||State/Province||This Act is the primary legislation pertaining to coal mine safety in Virginia. It contains information on safety rules, safety standards and required certifications for mine workers, prohibited acts in mines, mine inspections, rescue crews, incident procedures, fees, and worker training programs. Additional requirements, specific to underground and surface coal mines, are found in the next two sections.|
|Commonwealth's Energy Leasing Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Leasing Program||Yes||State/Territory||Lease financing administered by the Department of Treasury provides funding for energy efficiency projects in state facilities operated by state agencies, authorities and institutions of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Energy Leasing Program allows for the purchase of services and equipment required to develop, design, and install an energy efficiency project. Agencies can finance energy projects at a minimum of $100,000 and will make repayments over 12 or 15 year terms.|
The funds can be used to finance projects with relevant energy efficient technology, such as lighting and motor efficiency upgrades, building envelope enhancements, distribution system improvements, and energy management controls. It is the responsibility of the individual agency to ensure that energy projects are in accordance with§4-4.01(u) of the General Provisions of the Appropriations Act.
Visit the Commonwealth's Energy Leasing Program online for more information.
|Commonwealth's Master Equipment Leasing Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Leasing Program||Yes||State/Territory||The Master Equipment Leasing Program (MELP) ensures that all Commonwealth agencies, authorities and institutions obtain consistent and competitive credit terms for financing equipment and energy efficiency projects. Agencies can finance energy projects at a minimum of $10,000 and can make repayments over 3, 5, 7 and 10 year terms.
Qualifying Energy Projects Energy efficiency projects may include personal property, the installation or modification of an installation in a building, professional management, and other special services which are primarily intended to reduce energy consumption and demand or allow the use of an alternative energy source. Personal property is defined as new or reconditioned tangible personal property that includes personal property to be affixed to realty and must be used for governmental purposes.
MELP financed energy projects with relevant energy efficient technology include lighting and motor efficiency upgrades, building envelope enhancements, distribution system improvements, energy management controls.Visit the Commonwealth's Master Equipment Leasing Program online for more information.
|Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (United States)||United States||Grant Program|
|Yes||Federal||Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (CDBG/EDIF) provides public infrastructure financing to help communities grow jobs, enable new business startups and expansions for existing businesses. State programs help achieve the national objective of CDBG by funding projects in which at least 51 percent of the new jobs created are made available to low and moderate income individuals. The maximum amounts awarded under the program are $1 million for new businesses locating to the state and $500,000 for existing businesses expanding in the state.|
|Conservation of Water Resources (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations||Yes||State/Province||The State Water Control Board is responsible for formulating and implementing a comprehensive water use policy for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Implemented by the Department of Environmental Quality, the policy consists of ground water characterization, water supply planning, and water withdrawal permitting programs.|
|Dominion Virginia Power - Solar Purchase Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Performance-Based Incentive||Yes||Utility||In March 2013, the Virginia State Corporation Commission approved a rate program for Dominion Virginia Power customers that install solar PV systems. The rate was approved at 15 cents per kWh with a 5 year contract. Both residential and nonresidential customers are eligible for the program. The program is capped 3 MW, with 60% of the capacity reserved for residential customers and 40% reserved for nonresidential customers. Customers must install a separate meter for the PV system and sell all of the generation back to Dominion. Customers will pay a charge for the meter. Application materials are available on the program web site. Participation is based on a first-come, first-serve basis until it reaches the 3 MW cap.
The program is considered a pilot program that will last for 5 years, at which point the Dominion will decide whether or not to move forward with a permanent program.
|Drainage, Sanitation, and Public Facilities Districts (Virginia)||Virginia||Siting and Permitting||Yes||State/Province||This legislation provides for the establishment of sanitary, sanitation, drainage, and public facilities districts in Virginia. Designated districts are public bodies, and have the authority to regulate the construction and development of sanitation and waste disposal projects in their jurisdiction.|
|Economic Development Loan Fund (Virginia)||Virginia||Loan Program||Yes||State/Province||The Economic Development Loan Fund helps to fill the financing gap between private debt financing and private equity. Up to $1 million is available for each project and can be used for the acquisition of land or facilities, or the purchase of machinery or equipment. Projects must create new jobs or “save” jobs in underserved or distressed areas. Eligible businesses include those engaged in technology, and those that provide for a locality’s economic and “quality of life” development.|
|Energy Project and Equipment Financing (Virginia)||Virginia||State Loan Program||Yes||State/Territory||The Virginia Resources Authority (VRA) was created in 1984 and provides financial assistance to local governments in Virginia for a variety of projects, including energy and energy conservation projects. In March 2011, H.B. 2389 added "renewable energy" to the list of eligible projects (though it may have already been technically eligible under the "energy" category). VRA offers several financing options, including the Virginia Pooled Financing Program, Revolving Loan Funds, and Term Financing. Interested entities should use the contact form available on the VRA web site in order to discuss financing options with VRA staff.|
|Enterprise Zone Real Property Investment Grant (Virginia)||Virginia||Enterprise Zone|
|Yes||State/Province||The Enterprise Zone Real Property Investment Grant provides qualified zone investors with cash grants for industrial, commercial or mixed use property. The grant is equal to 20% of the excess above the minimum required investment up to a maximum of $100,000 for companies investing $5 million or less.|
|Exploration for Uranium Ore (Virginia)||Virginia||Safety and Operational Guidelines||Yes||State/Province||This legislation describes permitting procedures and requirements for exploration activities. For the purpose of this legislation, exploration is defined as the drilling of test holes or stratigraphic or core holes of a depth greater than fifty feet for the purpose of determining the location, quantity, or quality of uranium ore.|
|Flood Protection and Dam Safety (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations|
Safety and Operational Guidelines
Siting and Permitting
|Yes||State/Province||All dams in Virginia are subject to the Dam Safety Act and Dam Safety Regulations unless specifically excluded. A dam is excluded if it: (a) is less than six feet high; (b) has a maximum capacity less than 50 acre-feet and is less than 25 feet in height; (c) has a maximum capacity of less than 15 acre-feet and is more than 25 feet in height; (d) is used primarily for agricultural purposes and has a maximum capacity of less than 100 acre-feet or is less than 25 feet in height (if the use or ownership changes, the dam may be subject to regulation); (e) is owned or licensed by the federal government; (f) is operated for mining purposes under 45.1-222 or 45.1-225.1 of the Code of Virginia; or (g) is an obstruction in a canal used to raise or lower water levels. Dams are classified with a hazard potential depending upon the downstream losses anticipated in event of failure. The owner of each regulated high, significant, or low hazard dam is required to apply to the board for an Operation and Maintenance Certificate. After a dam is certified by the board, annual inspections are required either by a professional engineer or the dam owner, and the Annual Inspection Report is submitted to the regional dam safety engineer. Floodplain Management Program staff works with localities to establish and enforce floodplain management zoning. Floodplain zoning regulates how development is allowed within floodplains. The program's main goal is to protect people and their property from unwise floodplain development. Localities use the program's state model ordinances, in which minimum standards for local regulations are set, to write their own. Local governments can set more restrictive standards to ensure higher levels of protection for residents in flood hazard areas. Also, the state has used the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code to set construction standards for structures built in Federal Emergency Management Agency designated flood hazard areas.|
|Forestry Policies (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations||Yes||State/Province||Virginia's forests are managed by the Virginia Department of Forestry. In 2010 the Department issued its Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources and Strategic Plan documents:
The Department has also issued a concise reference of the State Forestry Laws:
|Fuel Mix and Emissions Disclosure (Virginia)||Virginia||Generation Disclosure||Yes||State/Territory||Virginia’s 1999 electric industry restructuring law requires the state's electricity providers to disclose -- "to the extent feasible" -- fuel mix and emissions data regarding electric generation. Legislation in 2007 and 2008 related to Electric Utility Regulation amended the restructuring laws, but still require emissions and fuel mix disclosure. Information must be provided to customers and to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) at least once annually. If any portion of this information is unavailable, the electricity provider must file a report with the SCC explaining why that information is not available.|
|Green Jobs Tax Credit (Virginia)||Virginia||Industry Recruitment/Support||Yes||State/Territory||In April 2010, Virginia enacted the green jobs tax credit. For every green job created with a yearly salary of $50,000 or more, the company will earn a $500 income tax credit for five years. The Office of Commerce and Trade will develop a full list of jobs eligible to qualify for the tax credit. Companies will be allowed tax credits for up to 350 green jobs created. If the taxpayer does not have enough tax liability to take the full credit, it may be carried forward for up to 5 years. The program is set to expire on December 31, 2014.
Eligible alternative energy sources are defined as "hydrogen and fuel cell technology, landfill gas, geothermal heating systems, solar heating systems, hydropower systems, wind systems, and biomass and biofuel systems."
|Ground Water Management Act (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations|
Siting and Permitting
|Yes||Local||Under the Ground Water Management Act of 1992, Virginia manages ground water through a program regulating the withdrawals in certain areas called Ground Water Management Areas (GWMA). Currently, there are two Ground Water Management Areas in the state. The Eastern Virginia Ground Water Management Area comprises an area east of Interstate 95 and south of the Mattaponi and York rivers. The Eastern Shore Ground Water Management Area includes Accomack and Northampton counties. Any person or entity wishing to withdraw 300,000 gallons per month or more in a declared management area must obtain a permit.|
|Guidelines for Solar and Wind Local Ordinances (Virginia)||Virginia||Solar/Wind Permitting Standards||Yes||State/Territory||In March 2011, the Virginia legislature enacted broad guidelines for local ordinances for solar and wind. The law states that any local ordinance related to the siting of solar or wind energy facilities must:
* Be consistent with the Commonwealth Energy Policy (§ 67-102) * Provide reasonable criteria for wind and solar energy siting, protecting the locality while promoting wind and solar development* Establish reasonable requirements for noise limitations, buffer areas, set backs, and facility decommissioning
|Impact of Electric Generating Facilities (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations|
Siting and Permitting
|Yes||State/Province||After a proposed power plant has received approval from the State Corporation Commission (SCC) and location approval from the local government, it must apply for all applicable permits from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Depending on the plant, this could include permits for air, water and/or waste. Air permits that are issued to power plants undergo a very rigorous review and can take a year or more to issue depending on the size and make-up of the plant. The review includes the determination of the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) for each criteria pollutant being emitted and may require a determination of the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) for Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) if the potential emissions of HAPs is over 10 tons per year (tpy) for a single HAP or 25 tpy for multiple HAPs.
In addition to control technology reviews, the source must also conduct air quality analyses. This involves running multiple computer models (simulations) to demonstrate the plant will not cause or significantly contribute to the exceeding of any of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). For most power plants, the air permit process involves multiple opportunities for public comment. Comment is usually taken either in written form or orally at a public hearing. Comments received from the public are taken into consideration prior to a permit being issued.Power plants in Virginia use many different types of fuel including coal, nuclear, wood, biomass, distillate oil, landfill gas and natural gas.
|Impoundment of Surface Waters (Virginia)||Virginia||Siting and Permitting||Yes||State/Province||Many water withdrawal projects involve planning and engineering long before any permits are obtained. DEQ's Office of Water Supply is responsible for assisting the public with such planning and is also involved with the permitting process.
While there are exceptions, such as for agricultural operations, projects involving surface water withdrawals from state waters and related permanent structures and fill are permitted under the Virginia Water Protection Permit (VWPP) Program. The VWPP Program is administered by the DEQ Office of Wetlands and Stream Protection and by the DEQ Office of Water Supply. DEQ issues Virginia Water Protection permits for such impacts through use of the Joint Permit Application process.The type of project determines which DEQ office will handle permitting tasks. Projects involving, but not limited to, reservoirs; power plants; industrial impoundments or intakes; and interbasin transfers (multi-regional supply projects), as regulated under the VWPP Program, are permitted by DEQ's Central Office staff. Staff from both the Office of Wetlands and Stream Protection and the Office of Water Supply work on these permits. At this time, DEQ's regional VWPP staff work on permits for water withdrawal and water supply projects involving, but not limited to, golf course operations and dam construction, maintenance, or removal.
|Interconnection Standards (Virginia)||Virginia||Interconnection||Yes||State/Territory||Virginia has two interconnection standards: one for net-metered systems and one for systems that are not net-metered.
Interconnection for Net-Metered Systems
Customer-generators that net meter must comply with the interconnection rules within the regulations governing net metering (20 VAC 5-315-40). These rules apply to residential customers generating up to 10 kW* and commercial systems of up to 500 kW (or greater if the utility's net metering tariff specifies a higher capacity limit for commercial systems). Utilities that have already enrolled 1% of their peak load for the previous year are not required to allow additional customers to net meter.
Customer-generators with systems that meet the major national safety and equipment standards [National Electrical Code (NEC), Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Standard 1547 (July 2003), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL)] are not required to install any additional safety equipment. However, a utility’s net metering tariff may require that customer-generators install a manual, external disconnect switch that complies with national safety requirements and is certified by a licensed electrician.
Customer-generators must notify the electric distribution company and the energy service provider prior to interconnecting; the minimum advance-notice requirement depends on system size. Customer-generators may be required to pay up to $50 for an inverter inspection for inverter-based systems. In addition, customer-generators with systems greater than 25 kW in capacity must reimburse the utility for its cost to modify any facilities needed to accommodate the interconnection with respect to power quality, voltage regulation and transformer loading.
Customer-generators with interconnected systems that do not exceed 10 kW in rated capacity must have at least $100,000 in liability insurance. Customer-generators with systems greater than 10 kW must have at least $300,000 in coverage.
*In March 2011, Virginia enacted HB 1983, which increases the residential limit net metering limit to 20 kW. Residential facilities with a capacity of more than 10 kW will be required to pay a monthly standby charge.These changes took effect July 1, 2011. The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved standby charges for transmissions and distribution components as proposed by Virginia Electric and Power Company (Dominion Virginia Power) on November 3, 2011. More information on Dominion's approved charges can be found under Virginia-Net Metering.
Interconnection for Other Systems**
In May 2009, Virginia’s State Corporation Commission (SCC) adopted interconnection procedures for systems that are not net-metered. These rules, which took effect July 1, 2009, apply to all electric utilities -- investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and electric cooperatives -- operating in Virginia. Prior to installation, the Interconnection Customer must insure compliance with all local, state and federal laws and regulations, including applicable permitting and easements.
Fees for interconnection requests increase with each Level. A Level 1 request must submit $100 fee; a Level 2 request must submit $500 fee; and a Level 3 requests must submit a deposit of $1000 or 50% of the estimated cost of the feasibility study (whichever is less).
The process for each level differs as well; in general Level 1 requests require an evaluation and no additional studies. Level 2 requests require an initial review and possibly a supplemental review and/or modifications to either the small generating facility or the utility facilities. Level 3 requests may include a scoping meeting (which may be waived), a feasibility study (which may be waived), system impact study, and facilities study. Level 2 and 3 both require a signed Small Generator Interconnection Agreement before the systems may begin operation. The forms for requests and agreements are standard SCC determined forms.
The SCC specifies IEEE Standard 1547 (“Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electrical Power Systems”) as the technical standard of evaluation. Systems are considered to be lab-certified if the components have been evaluated as compliant with UL 1741 and the National Electric Code (NEC).
Interconnection requests that include multiple energy production devices located on one site with a single point of interconnection will be evaluated on the aggregate capacity of all systems. Interconnection request for systems wishing to increase capacity shall be evaluated on total new capacity.
Regardless of the size or tier in which the facility is evaluated, it is the utility's discretion whether or not an external disconnect switch is required.
Depending on the size of the small generator facility, insurance requirements differ. Facilities with rated capacity 10 kW or less must carry liability insurance of at least $100,000 per occurrence. Facilities with rated capacity exceeding 10 kW but less than or equal to 500 kW must carry liability insurance with coverage of at least $300,000 for each occurrence. Facilities with rated capacity greater than 500 kW but less than or equal to 2 MW must carry liability insurance with coverage of at least $2 million per occurrence. Insurance coverage for facilities with rated capacity greater than 2 MW will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the size of the installation and potential risk of system damage.
Another important aspect to the SCC Interconnection procedures for non-net metered systems is that they stipulate a dispute resolution process. After written notification of the dispute, the parties may seek assistance from the SCC's Division of Energy Regulation, where it will be handled as an informal complaint, or they may seek third-party dispute resolution in which costs are shared equally. If the prior attempts fail, parties may file a formal complaint with the SCC.
It should be noted that these regulations do not apply to net metering customers although, in practice, the process and requirements detailed for Level 1 requests mirror the interconnection process for net metered systems.* *The definitions here cover several important classification criteria. Consult the actual rule for official definitions and additional restrictions.
|Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (Multiple States)||District of Columbia|
Siting and Permitting
|Yes||Local||The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin's (ICPRB) mission is to enhance, protect, and conserve the water and associated land resources of the Potomac River and its tributaries through regional and interstate cooperation. The IPCRB administers an interstate compact, authorized by Congress in 1940, which aims to help the Potomac basin states and the federal government to enhance, protect, and conserve the water and associated land resources of the Potomac River basin. The Commission is responsible for regulating and controlling pollution impacts and water uses. The Commission provides planning coordination for the development and use of the water and associated land resources through cooperation with, and support and coordination of, the activities of federal, state, local and private agencies, groups, and interests concerned with the development, utilization and conservation of the water and associated land resources.|
|Interstate Mining Compact Commission (multi-state)||Alabama|
|Safety and Operational Guidelines|
Siting and Permitting
|Yes||State/Province||The Interstate Mining Compact is a multi-state governmental agency / organization that represents the natural resource and related environmental protection interests of its member states. Currently, 23 states are members to the compact, and 6 additional states are associate members. The compact is administered by the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, which does not possess regulatory powers but “provides a forum for interstate action and communication on issues of concern to the member states” and thus aids the development of effective regulatory programs and environmental protection initiatives. The Commission exercises several powers on behalf of the states, all of which are of a study, recommendatory or consultative nature. The Commission does not possess regulatory powers, as some Compacts do. The Commission provides a forum for interstate action and communication on issues of concern to the member states. It is the potential to stimulate the development and production of each state's mineral wealth through effective regulatory programs that draws many of the states together in the prosecution of the Commission's work. Given the environmental sensitivities associated with this objective, a significant portion of the Commission's work is dedicated to the environmental protection issues naturally associated with this mineral development. It is the significant value and clout that comes from "compacting" together and speaking with a strong, united voice that can make a difference in each state's efforts to implement effective regulatory programs that will conserve natural resources and secure a vibrant state (and thus national) mineral economy.|
|Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Compact (Multiple States)||Alabama|
|Environmental Regulations||Yes||State/Province||The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission assists member states efficiently maximize oil and natural gas resources through sound regulatory practices while protecting the nation's health, safety and the environment.
The Commission serves as the collective voice of member governors on oil and gas issues and advocates states' rights to govern petroleum resources within their borders.
The Commission formed the Geological CO2 Sequestration Task Force, which examines the technical, policy and regulatory issues related to safe and effective storage of CO2 in the subsurface (depleted oil and natural gas fields, saline formations and coal beds).
The Commission also funds research on hydraulic fracking, reusing water used in extracting oil and gas, and makes recommendations on national energy policies and statutes for individual states.The Commission also has several associate states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. In addition, it has international affiliations with the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon.
|Land Conservation (Virginia)||Virginia||Siting and Permitting||Yes||State/Province||The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has developed the Commonwealth's first comprehensive, continually maintained GIS data layer for Virginia's protected conservation lands. This database includes mapped boundaries and attributes for public and certain private lands having various conservation, recreation and open-space roles. Most federal, state, regional and interstate lands are included. This includes water and park authorities, parks and undeveloped or partially-developed lands owned by localities, as well as lands owned as preserves by nonprofit conservation organizations such as The Nature Conservancy. Also included are conservation easements held by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, land trusts and others. The Virginia Natural Area Preserves System was established in the late 1980's to protect some of the most significant natural areas in the Commonwealth. A site becomes a component of the preserve system once it is dedicated as a natural area preserve by the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Natural area dedication works in much the same way as a conservation easement by placing legally binding restrictions on future activities on a property; future development and construction is severely restricted in these areas. This system now includes sixty one dedicated natural areas totaling 51,948 acres.|
|Loan Guaranty Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Loan Program||Yes||State/Province||The Loan Guaranty Program is designed to help small businesses obtain funds to start, enhance, or expand their operations, and create new jobs. To qualify, businesses must have $10 million or less in annual revenues over the last three years; or have a net worth of $2 million or less; or have fewer than 250 employees; or be a non-profit. The maximum guaranty is $750,000 or 85% of the loan amount, and the lines of credit are provided on an annual basis, with up to four renewals.|
|Local Option - Clean Energy Financing (Virginia)||Virginia||PACE Financing||Yes||State/Territory||Note: The Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) issued a statement in July 2010 concerning the senior lien status associated with most PACE programs. In response to the FHFA statement, most local PACE programs have been suspended until further clarification is provided.
Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing effectively allows property owners to borrow money to pay for energy improvements. The amount borrowed is typically repaid via a special assessment on the property over a period of years. Virginia has authorized certain local governments to establish such programs, as described below. (Not all local governments in Virginia offer PACE financing; contact your local government to find out if it has established a PACE financing program.)Virginia passed legislation in 2009 authorizing local governments to establish a loan program to provide financing for clean energy improvements to property owners via local ordinance. Governments that opt to establish a program must hold a public hearing to solicit feedback on the draft ordinance/plan. Within the final ordinance, local governments must specify which "clean energy improvements" would be covered, they must determine funding sources, establish interest rates and loan terms. Local governments are authorized to include the participation of private lenders. In addition, within the ordinance, the local government must determine the method for collecting the loan repayment, either via water or sewer bills, real property tax assessments, or other billing method. Legislation passed in 2010 (SB 110) clarifying that the locality is authorized to place a lien on the property for the amount of the loan and that a locality may bundle loans and transfer them to a private financial institution, without impacting the lien.
|Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit (Virginia)||Virginia||Corporate Tax Incentive||Yes||State/Province||The Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit is a program administered by the Virginia Department of Taxation. The credit provides $1,000 per job over a 25 or 50-job threshold, which varies by locality. The job threshold must be met within a 12 month period and is taken in equal installments over a two year period.|
|Management and Use of Public Lands (Virginia)||Virginia||Leasing Program|
Siting and Permitting
|Yes||State/Province||The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation may elect to lease its lands for the development of mineral interests (defined herein as petroleum, natural gas, coal, ore, rock and any other solid chemical element or compound which results from the inorganic process of nature), or to convey, lease, or demise lands for other purposes deemed by the Department to be in the public interest.|
|Mandatory Utility Green Power Option (Virginia)||Virginia||Mandatory Utility Green Power Option||Yes||State/Territory||Virginia passed legislation (S.B. 1416) in April 2007 that includes a provision that electricity customers in Virginia have the option to purchase 100% renewable energy from their utility. If their utility does not offer a program that meets the 100% renewable energy requirement, its customers will be permitted to purchase green power from any licensed retail supplier. For information about the green power utilities and suppliers in Virginia, see the Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Green Power Network website.|
|Marine Habitats and Land Use (Virginia)||Virginia||Siting and Permitting||Yes||State/Province||The Virginia Marine Resources Commission has jurisdiction over submerged lands off the state's coast and in inland rivers and streams, wetlands and tidal wetlands, coastal sand dunes and beaches, and other shores. A permit from the Commission is required to dredge, fill, or otherwise disturb these areas. The Subaqueous Guidelines section on the Commission's website contains guidelines for when permits may be granted for activities affecting submerged lands.|
|Natural Gas Conservation and Ratemaking Efficiency Act (Virginia)||Virginia||Generating Facility Rate-Making|
Safety and Operational Guidelines
|Yes||State/Province||This Act applies to any investor-owned public service company engaged in the business of furnishing natural gas service to the public. The Act provides financial incentives to natural gas utilities that set conservation and ratemaking efficiency plans to efficiently use natural gas.|
|Net Metering (Virginia)||Virginia||Net Metering||Yes||State/Territory||Note: In March 2011, Virginia enacted HB 1983, which increased the residential net-metering limit to 20 kW. However, residential facilities with a capacity of greater than 10 kW must pay a monthly standby charge. The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved standby charges for transmissions and distribution components as proposed by Virginia Electric and Power Company (Dominion Virginia Power) on November 3, 2011.
Virginia's net-metering law applies to residential generating systems up to 20 kilowatts (kW) in capacity and non-residential systems up to 500 kW in capacity (utilities may choose to offer net metering to larger non-residential systems). Net metering is available on a first-come, first-served basis until the rated generating capacity owned and operated by customer-generators reaches 1% of an electric distribution company's adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year. Net metering is available to customers of investor-owned utilities (including competitive suppliers) and electric cooperatives, but not to customers of municipal utilities.
Net-metered energy is measured by a meter capable of gauging electricity flow in both directions. Monthly net excess generation (NEG) is carried forward to the next month. At the end of each 12-month period, the customer has the option of carrying forward eligible excess NEG to the next net metering 12-month period or selling the NEG to the utility. The amount of credit to be carried forward to a subsequent net metering period may not exceed the amount of energy purchased during the previous annual period.* In the case of selling the NEG to the utility, the customer must submit a written request to establish a power purchase agreement with the utility prior to the beginning of the net metering period to be covered by the power purchase agreement. The investor-owned utility must pay avoided cost (or higher if agreed upon). Net metering is also available to customers on time-of-use tariffs (with time-of-use applicable NEG calculations).
Customer-generators own all of the renewable energy credits (RECs) their system generates. Virginia's net metering law states that at the time a customer enters into a power purchase agreement with the utility for net excess generation, the customer has a one-time option to sell RECs to the utility. This provision does not preclude the customer and utility (or other entity) from voluntarily entering into an agreement for the sale and purchase of RECs at any other time.
Any residential net-metering customer of Dominion Virginia Power who owns and operates, or contracts to own and operate, an electric generation system with a capacity greater than 10kW and less than 20kW is required to pay transmission and distribution standby charges effective April 1, 2012. Customers will be required to pay $2.79 a kW in monthly distribution standby charges and $1.40 kW in monthly transmission standby charges. The SCC denied Dominion's proposal for generation standby charges, but Dominion may reapply for approval for these charges in the future.
In April 2009, the Governor signed legislation (HB 2155) making changes to net metering in Virginia. System size caps for net metering were not changed, but HB 2155 allows utilities to approve a higher capacity limit at their discretion. The bill also permits customers that are served on time-of-use tariffs to participate in net metering. Finally, the bill establishes ownership of renewable energy certificates as described above. The SCC regulations take effect late April 2010. Utilities must file standard tariffs to comply with the new regulations.
In 2013, HB 1695 created net metering programs for agricultural customers of investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives. Program must begin prior to July 1, 2014, for customers of investor-owned utilities and no later than July 1, 2015, for customers of electric cooperatives, to afford eligible agricultural customer-generators the opportunity to participate in net energy metering.* For example, if a customer-generator bought 1,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) from a utility during the first 11 months of the annual period, and then generated 2,000 kWh of excess electricity in the 12th month, the customer could carry forward 1,500 kWh to the following month, and the remaining 500 kWh would be granted to the utility.
|Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (Multiple States)||Illinois|
|Environmental Regulations||Yes||State/Province||The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), was established on June 30, 1948 to control and abate pollution in the Ohio River Basin. ORSANCO is an interstate commission representing eight states and the federal government. ORSANCO operates programs to improve water quality in the Ohio River and its tributaries, including: setting waste water discharge standards; performing biological assessments; monitoring for the chemical and physical properties of the waterways; and conducting special surveys and studies. ORSANCO also coordinates emergency response activities for spills or accidental discharges to the river, and promotes public participation in programs, such as the Ohio River Sweep and the RiverWatchers Volunteer Monitoring Program. ORSANCO sets Pollution Control Standards for industrial and municipal waste water discharges to the Ohio River, and tracks certain dischargers whose effluent can seriously impact water quality. The standards designate specific uses for the Ohio, and establish guidelines to ensure that the river is capable of supporting these uses. To keep pace with current issues, ORSANCO reviews the standards every three years. As part of the review process, workshops and public hearings are held for public input.|
|PJM Interconnection (Multiple States)||Delaware|
District of Columbia
|Interconnection||Yes||Non-Profit||PJM (originally Pennsylvania, Jersey, Maryland) Interconnection is a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The PJM region has an area of 214,000 square miles, a population of about 60 million and a peak demand of 163,848 megawatts.|
|Permit by Rule for Small Renewable Energy Projects (Virginia)||Virginia||Siting and Permitting||Yes||State/Province||In 2009, the Virginia General Assembly enacted legislation directing the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to develop regulations for the construction and operation of renewable energy projects of 100 megawatts and less, to take the form of permits by rule (PBRs).The first permit by rule for wind energy projects was developed in 2009-10 and went into effect on December 22, 2010. The permit by rule for solar projects became effective on July 18, 2012. The proposed combustion permit by rule is undergoing executive review, which will be followed by a public comment period. In addition to PBRs for wind, solar, and combustion-based resources, the 2009 statute directed DEQ to develop a PBR for water-related resources, that is, falling water, wave motion, tides and geothermal resources, if considered by the department to be necessary and appropriate. After careful consideration of the issues, the Water-Related Regulatory Advisory Panel recommended, and the DEQ director agreed, that it is not necessary or appropriate at this time and under current conditions for DEQ to develop a PBR regulation for projects that generate electricity from falling water, wave motion, tides or geothermal resources. The RAP further recommended that DEQ re-evaluate the potential need for a PBR regulation concerning these water-related resources in 2014, or sooner if circumstances or public requests so indicate.|
|Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Grant Program||Yes||State/Province||The Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant Program (POV Grant) provides a grant to certain Qualified Companies to incentivize companies to locate new maritime-related employment centers or expand existing centers in specified localities in order to encourage and facilitate the growth of the Port of Virginia in accordance with criteria established by legislation. Subject to appropriation, a POV Grant is available from January 1, 2014 until June 30, 2020. The maximum amount of grant allowable per Qualified Company is $500,000 and the maximum amount of POV Grants allowable among all Qualified Companies in any given fiscal year is $5 million. For Fiscal Year 2015, the maximum amount of POV Grants allowable among all Qualified Companies is $2 million.|
|Public Service Companies, General Provisions (Virginia)||Virginia||Safety and Operational Guidelines|
Siting and Permitting
|Yes||State/Province||Public Service Companies includes gas, pipeline, electric light, heat, power and water supply companies, sewer companies, telephone companies, and all persons authorized to transport passengers or property as a common carrier. This legislation contains general provisions for the operation, permitting, and regulation of public service companies.|
|Qualified Projects of Natural Gas Utilities (Virginia)||Virginia||Property Tax Incentive||Yes||State/Province||Permits a natural gas utility to construct the necessary facilities of a qualifying project and to recover the eligible infrastructure development costs necessary to develop the eligible infrastructure for designated projects in future rates. Eligible infrastructure development costs include planning, development, and construction costs and, if applicable, an allowance for funds used during construction, in addition to a return on investment, a revenue conversion factor, depreciation, and property taxes.|
|Qualifying RPS State Export Markets (Virginia)||Virginia||Renewables Portfolio Standards and Goals||Yes||State/Province||This entry lists the states with Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies that accept generation located in Virginia as eligible sources towards their RPS targets or goals. For specific information with regard to eligible technologies or other restrictions which may vary by state, see the RPS policy entries for the individual states, shown below in the Authority listings. Typically energy must be delivered to an in-state utility or Load Serving Entity, and often only a portion of compliance targets may be met by out-of-state generation. In addition to geographic and energy delivery requirements, ownership, registry, and other requirements may apply, such as resource eligibility, generator vintage and capacity limitations, as well as limits on Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) vintage. The listing applies to RPS Main Tiers only, and excludes solar or distributed generation that may require interconnection only within the RPS state. This assessment is based on energy delivery requirements and reasonable transmission availability. Acceptance of unbundled RECs varies. There may be additional sales opportunities in RPS states outside the Eastern Interconnection. REC prices in markets with voluntary goals (Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia) may be lower.|
|Radiation Control (Virginia)||Virginia||Safety and Operational Guidelines||Yes||State/Province||The Department of Health is responsible for regulating radiation and radioactive materials in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Although the Department's Radiation Control Program primarily focuses on radiation in medical equipment, this legislation also addresses regulations, permits, and inspections pertaining to radiation and radioactive materials more generally.|
|Rappahannock River Basin Commission (Virginia)||Virginia||Siting and Permitting||Yes||Local||The Rappahannock River Basin Commission is an independent local entity tasked with providing guidance for the stewardship and enhancement of the water quality and natural resources of the Rappahannock River Basin. Although the Commission has no regulatory authority, it is a forum in which local governments and citizens can discuss issues affecting the Basin's water quality and quantity and other natural resources. Through promoting communication, coordination and education, and by suggesting appropriate solutions to identified problems, the Commission promotes activities by local, state and federal governments, and by individuals, that foster resource stewardship for the environmental and economic health of the Basin.|
|Reclamation of Land Used for Mineral Mining (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations||Yes||State/Province||This legislation aims to provide for the rehabilitation and conservation of land affected by the mining of minerals through proper planning, proper use of appropriate methods of mining, consideration of the impact of mining upon the environment as well as the land use of surrounding areas, and through the incorporation and use of control techniques and reclamation actions as an integral and simultaneous part of the mining of minerals. This legislation contains information on permitting requirements for mining activities constituting all or part of a process for the extraction or removal of minerals so as to make them suitable for commercial, industrial, or construction use; but shall not include those aspects of deep mining not having significant effect on the surface.|
|Renewable Energy Co-Location of Distribution Facilities (Virginia)||Virginia||Siting and Permitting||Yes||State/Province||This legislation applies to distribution facilities, which include poles and wires, cables, pipelines, or other underground conduits by which a renewable generator is able to (i) supply electricity generated at its renewable energy facility to the electric distribution grid, (ii) distribute steam generated at its renewable energy facility to customers, or (iii) supply landfill gas it collects to customers or a natural gas distribution or transmission pipeline. The legislation applies to any renewable energy facility that is (i) an electrical generation facility that produces not more than 2 MW peak net power output to the distribution grid, which electricity is generated only from a renewable energy source; (ii) a steam reduction facility with a rated capacity of not more than 5,000 mmBtus per hour that produces steam only from a renewable energy source; or (iii) a solid waste management facility permitted by the Department of Environmental Quality from which landfill gas is transmitted or distributed off premises. The legislation contains provisions for siting, permitting, construction, and rights-of-way for such facilities.|
|Renewable Energy Production Grant Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Grant Program||No||State/Province||The Renewable Energy Production Grant Program provides grant funding for the installation of qualified renewable energy systems. Subject to fund availability, an eligible corporation may receive a grant for certain kilowatt hours of electricity produced after December 31, 2006. The grant amount shall be $.0085 for each kilowatt hour of electricity (i) produced by the corporation from qualified energy resources at a qualified Virginia facility and (ii) sold and transmitted into the electric grid, or used in production by a qualified Virginia facility, in a calendar year. Grant amounts shall be based on each such kilowatt hour of electricity sold or used in production by a qualified Virginia facility beginning with calendar year 2007. The effective date of this grant is contingent, and it is unclear whether it is temporarily or permanently inactive.|
|Rivanna River Basin Commission (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations||Yes||Local||The Rivanna River Basin Commission is an independent local entity tasked with providing guidance for the stewardship and enhancement of the water quality and natural resources of the Rivanna River Basin. Although the Commission has no regulatory authority, it is a forum in which local governments and citizens can discuss issues affecting the Basin's water quality and quantity and other natural resources. Through promoting communication, coordination and education, and by suggesting appropriate solutions to identified problems, the Commission promotes activities by local, state and federal governments, and by individuals, that foster resource stewardship for the environmental and economic health of the Basin.|
|Roanoke River Basin Bi-State Commission (Multiple States)||North Carolina|
|Environmental Regulations||Yes||Local||The Roanoke River Basin Bi-State Commission was established as a bi-state commission composed of members from the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of North Carolina. The purpose of the commission is to:
(a) Provide guidance, conduct joint meetings, and make recommendations to local, state, and federal legislative and administrative bodies, and to others as it deems necessary and appropriate, regarding the use, stewardship, and enhancement of the Basin's water and other natural resources;
(b) Provide a forum for discussion of issues affecting the Basin's water quantity, water quality, and other natural resources; (c) Promote communication, coordination, and education among stakeholders within the Basin; (d) Identify Basin-related problems and recommend appropriate solutions; and(e) Undertake studies and prepare, publish, and disseminate information through reports, and other communications related to water quantity, water quality, and other natural resources of the Basin.
|Rockingham County - Small Wind Ordinance (Virginia)||Virginia||Solar/Wind Permitting Standards||Yes||Local||In October 2004, the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors approved a zoning ordinance for small wind energy systems, the first of its kind in Virginia. Students at James Madison University drafted the original ordinance with guidance from members of the Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative (VWEC) and assistance from members of Rockingham County's planning board.
Although net metering is not required, the ordinance complements the state's net-metering regulations and requires compliance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code, FAA Regulations, National Electrical Code, and Virginia Regulations Governing Net Metering.
Other key provisions include:
|Scenic Rivers Act (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations||Yes||State/Province||Virginia Scenic Rivers Program’s intent is to identify, designate and help protect rivers and streams that possess outstanding scenic, recreational, historic and natural characteristics of statewide significance for future generations. Construction and development is restricted on designated scenic rivers and adjacent lands. In addition to the designated scenic rivers, the Lower James River has been declared a State Historic River and is subject to similar activity restrictions: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational_planning/trailjrh.shtml|
|Soil and Water Conservation (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations||Yes||State/Province||Soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) were established in the 1930s to develop comprehensive programs and plans to conserve soil resources, control and prevent soil erosion, prevent floods and conserve, develop, utilize and dispose water. Today, forty-seven districts encompass nearly all Virginia localities. The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board may choose to set planning, zoning, and regulatory guidelines for local Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The Erosion Control Program in the Department of Conservation and Recreation will adopt regulations for the effective control of soil erosion, sediment deposition, and nonagricultural runoff that must be met in any control program to prevent the unreasonable degradation of properties, stream channels, waters, and other natural resources.|
|Solar Manufacturing Incentive Grant (SMIG) Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Industry Recruitment/Support||No||State/Territory||Created in 1995 and administered jointly by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Solar Manufacturing Incentive Grant (SMIG) Program offers up to $4.5 million per year to encourage the production of photovoltaic panels in Virginia. The incentive is paid at a rate of up to $0.75 per watt for panels sold in a calendar year, with a maximum of 6 MW.|
New manufacturers that meet certain production and other criteria are eligible to receive annual incentive grants for six years. The amount will be awarded as follows:
|Solar and Wind Energy System Acquisition Grant Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Grant Program||No||State/Province||The Solar and Wind Energy System Acquisition Grant Program provides grant funding for the installation of solar and wind energy generators. Subject to fund availability, beginning with calendar year 2007, an eligible individual or corporation may receive a grant for a portion of the cost of photovoltaic property, solar water heating property, or wind-powered electrical generators placed in service during the calendar year by such individual or corporation. The grant amount shall be 15% of the total installed cost of photovoltaic property, solar water heating property, or wind-powered electrical generators but shall not exceed an aggregate total of:
1. $2,000 for each system of photovoltaic property; 2. $1,000 for each system of solar water heating property; and 3. $1,000 for each system of wind-powered electrical generators.The effective date of this grant is contingent, and it is unclear whether it is temporarily or permanently inactive.
|Southeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Compact (Multiple States)||Alabama|
|Environmental Regulations||Yes||State/Province||The Southeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Compact is administered by the Compact Commission. The Compact provides for rotating responsibility for the region's low-level radioactive waste, and the Commission can set rules for waste disposal in the region.|
|Southern States Energy Compact (Multiple States)||Alabama|
United States Virgin Islands
|Yes||State/Province||The Southern States Energy Compact provides for the proper employment and conservation of energy, and for the employment of energy-related facilities, materials, and products, within the context of a responsible regard for the environment, among the Southeastern states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Southern States Energy Board is responsible for administering the Compact and may adopt bylaws, rules, and regulations in conjunction with state agencies. The Board also encourages the development, conservation, and responsible use of energy and energy-related facilities, installations, and products as part of a balanced economy and a healthy environment.|
|State Water Quality (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations|
Siting and Permitting
|Yes||State/Province||It is the policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia to: (1) protect existing high quality state waters and restore the quality of all other state waters to permit all reasonable public uses and support the propagation and growth of all aquatic life which might reasonably be expected to inhabit them; (2) safeguard the clean waters of the Commonwealth from pollution; (3) prevent any increase in pollution; (4) reduce existing pollution; (5) promote and encourage the reclamation and reuse of wastewater in a manner protective of the environment and public health; and (6) promote water resource conservation, management and distribution, and encourage reduced water consumption.
The State Water Control Board, a citizen board, is responsible for overseeing the quality of state waters. The Board may authorize projects or developments which would constitute a new or an increased discharge of effluent to high quality water, when it has been affirmatively demonstrated that a change is justifiable to provide necessary economic or social development; and provided, further, that the necessary degree of waste treatment to maintain high water quality will be required where physically and economically feasible. A permit from the Board is required prior to the discharge of waste or effluent into state waters, excavation in a wetland area, alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of state waters, or filling, dumping, or permanent flooding or impounding of a wetland.The remainder of this legislation addresses permit fees and regulations, wetland impacts, waste discharges, animal waste management, sewage sludge and septage disposal, water quality monitoring and reporting, and liability for unpermitted discharges.
|Surface Water Management Areas (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations||Yes||State/Province||This legislation establishes surface water management areas, geographically defined surface water areas in which the State Water Control Board has deemed the levels or supply of surface water to be potentially adverse to public welfare, health and safety. It is unclear whether any areas have been designated as surface water management areas to date. This legislation also addresses permitting procedures for water withdrawals. No surface water withdrawal permit is required for (i) any nonconsumptive use, (ii) any water withdrawal of less than 300,000 gallons in any single month, (iii) any water withdrawal from a farm pond collecting diffuse surface water and not situated on a perennial stream, (iv) any withdrawal in any area which has not been declared a surface water management area, or (v) any withdrawal from a wastewater treatment system permitted by the State Water Control Board or the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.|
|TVA - Green Power Providers (Virginia)||Virginia||Performance-Based Incentive||Yes||Utility||Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and participating power distributors of TVA power offer a performance-based incentive program to homeowners and businesses for the installation of renewable generation systems from the following qualifying resources: PV, wind, hydropower, and biomass. The long term Green Power Providers program replaces the Generation Partners* pilot program. The energy generated from these renewable generation systems will count towards TVA's green power pricing program, Green Power Switch.
**Prices reflect Premium Rates for 2014 Calendar Year and are applicable for agreements executed and dated by TVA on or after January 1, 2014 but on or prior to December 31, 2014.
|TVA - Mid-Sized Renewable Standard Offer Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Performance-Based Incentive||Yes||Utility||NOTE: TVA has issued additional 100 MW of capacity for Renewable Standard Offer (RSO) program for 2015. Applications for new projects will open starting January 2, 2015.
Before approval, the seller must provide TVA with project financing arrangements, interconnection agreements between the seller and either TVA or a Distributor, and TVA metering installation plans at an environmentally acceptable location. The participating power producer is responsible for interconnection, performance assurance, and application costs. TVA, or an approved third party, will also perform an environmental review at the seller’s cost.
|Technology Zones (Virginia)||Virginia||Corporate Tax Incentive||Yes||Local||Virginia’s 26 designated Technology Zones offer tax relief in the form of abatements, credits, deductions, deferrals, exemptions, or rebates. Local governments may designate technology zones to promote industry growth. Alternative energy is a qualifying technology in some counties. Qualified industries locating in these zones may receive permit waivers, special zoning treatment, and tax incentives for up to ten years.|
|Virginia Capital Access Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Loan Program||Yes||State/Province||The Virginia Capital Access Program (CAP), in partnership with Virginia’s Small Business Financing Authority, provides access to capital for small businesses. Businesses must apply to participating banks for a traditional loan, and the lender advises the company of enrollment in CAP. The program offers loan guarantees on a portfolio of loans through a loan loss reserve, which it establishes at each participating bank. Funds can be used for general working capital and fixed-asset financing. The maximum loan amount is $250,000.|
|Virginia Coal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations||Yes||State/Province||This legislation implements the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and establishes a statewide regulatory program for reclamation following coal surface mining activities. The Division of Mined Land Reclamation may also establish additional regulations for reclamation following coal exploration activities which substantially disturb the land surface. The Act contains additional information on reclamation plans, permitting procedures, inspections, and liability.|
|Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (Virginia)||Virginia||Industry Recruitment/Support|
Public Benefits Fund
|Yes||Local||The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VACEDA) was created in 1988 to encourage economic development in the western section of the state. The Authority administers incentive and financing programs designed to encourage new job creation and economic diversification, specifically in the electronic information technology, energy, education, and emerging technology sectors. VCEDA provides financial support for fixed assets, construction of buildings for sale or lease, installation of utilities and direct loans to private for-profit basic employers and industrial development authorities. Financing is based in part upon the number of new jobs created, wage rates and amount of private investment.|
|Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant (Virginia)||Virginia||Grant Program||Yes||State/Province||The Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant is a discretionary cash grant, designed to assist and encourage companies to invest and create new employment opportunities by locating significant headquarters, administrative or service sector operations in Virginia. The program requires a capital investment of at least $5 million or $6,500 per job (whichever is greater) and job creation thresholds ranging between 200-400 depending upon the locality.|
|Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act (Virginia)||Virginia||Safety and Operational Guidelines||Yes||State/Province||The Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act constitutes the main legislation in Virginia that pertains to the regulation of the state's electric utilities. The Act directs the State Corporation Commission to construct regulations for electric utilities, and contains information on rate regulations. Section 56-585.2 specifically pertains to the integration of renewable energy sources into the electric grid through the state's renewable portfolio program. More specific regulations can be found in the state's Administrative Code.|
|Virginia Energy Plan (Virginia)||Virginia||Industry Recruitment/Support||Yes||State/Province||The 2010 Virginia Energy Plan affirms the state's support for the development of renewable energy. The Plan assesses the state’s energy picture through an examination of the state’s primary energy sources: electricity, coal, nuclear, natural gas, renewables, and petroleum. The plan recommends actions to meet three goals: (1) Make Virginia the energy capital of the East Coast; (2) Grow both traditional and alternative energy production, jobs and investment; (3) Increase the use of conservation and efficiency; (4) Expand public education about Virginia’s energy production and consumption, its effect on Virginia's economy, and how Virginians can use energy more efficiently; and (5) Maximize the investment in clean energy research and development through the work of the Universities Clean Energy Development and Economic Stimulus Foundation. The Plan also sets rules for local governments to follow in the development of local ordinances addressing the siting of renewable energy facilities that generate electricity from wind or solar resources. In addition to being consistent with the state energy plan, such ordinances must: (1) Provide reasonable criteria to be addressed in the siting of any renewable energy facility that generates electricity from wind and solar resources. The criteria shall provide for the protection of the locality in a manner consistent with the goals of the Commonwealth to promote the generation of energy from wind and solar resources; and (2) Include provisions establishing reasonable requirements upon the siting of any such renewable energy facility, including provisions limiting noise, requiring buffer areas and setbacks, and addressing generation facility decommissioning.|
|Virginia Enterprise Zone Job Creation Grant (Virginia)||Virginia||Enterprise Zone|
|Yes||State/Province||The Virginia Enterprise Zone Job Creation Grant provides cash grants to businesses located in Enterprise zones that create permanent new jobs over a four-job threshold. State incentives are available to businesses and zone investors who create jobs and invest in real property within the boundaries of enterprise zones. The positions must pay at least 175 percent of the federal minimum wage rate and the availability of health benefits. The cash grant maximum is $500 per position and may be claimed for up to five years.|
|Virginia Gas and Oil Act (Virginia)||Virginia||Safety and Operational Guidelines|
Siting and Permitting
|Yes||State/Province||The Gas and Oil Act addresses the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas resources in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It contains provisions pertaining to wells and well spacing, permits and fees, ownership of coalbed methane gas, and land leases. No county, city, town or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth may impose any condition, or require any other local license, permit, fee or bond to perform any gas, oil, or geophysical operations which varies from or is in addition to the requirements of this chapter.|
|Virginia Geothermal Resources Conservation Act (Virginia)||Virginia||Safety and Operational Guidelines||Yes||State/Province||It is the policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia to foster the development, production, and utilization of geothermal resources, prevent waste of geothermal resources, protect correlative rights to the resource, protect existing high quality state waters and safeguard potable waters from pollution, safeguard the natural environment, and promote geothermal and water resource conservation and management. The Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy is responsible for implementing regulations pertaining to the exploration, development, production, and conservation of geothermal resources. Specific regulations can be found in section 4, chapter 25-170 of the Virginia Administrative Code.|
|Virginia Jobs Investment Program (Virginia)||Virginia||Industry Recruitment/Support|
|Yes||State/Province||The Virginia Jobs Investment Program provides cash grants to existing businesses that are creating new jobs or experiencing technological change. To be eligible, businesses must directly or indirectly derive more than 50% of their revenues from out-of-state sources.
The Virginia Jobs Investment Program offers three programs to both new and existing businesses.
Virginia New Jobs Program: For companies or start ups expecting significant growth in the next three years. See the program website for qualifications.
Small Business Program: For companies or start-ups with fewer than 250 employees who are expanding in the next 12 months. See the program website for qualifications.Workforce Retraining Program: For companies implementing significant technological upgrades affecting a large number of employees. See the program website for qualifications.
|Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority (Virginia)||Virginia||Industry Recruitment/Support||Yes||State/Province||The Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority is a public body, established for the purposes of facilitating, coordinating, and supporting the development, either by the Authority or by other qualified entities, of the offshore wind energy industry, offshore wind energy projects, and associated supply chain vendors. The Authority is tasked with collecting relevant metocean and environmental data, identifying existing state and regulatory or administrative barriers to the development of the offshore wind energy industry, working in cooperation with relevant local, state, and federal agencies to upgrade port and other logistical facilities and sites to accommodate the manufacturing and assembly of offshore wind energy project components and vessels, and ensuring that the development of such projects is compatible with other ocean uses and avian and marine resources. In cooperation with the relevant state and federal agencies as necessary, the Authority will recommend ways to encourage and expedite the development of the offshore wind energy industry. The Authority is also responsible for consulting with research institutions, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and stakeholders as the Authority deems appropriate.|
|Virginia Regional Industrial Facilities Act (Virginia)||Virginia||Industry Recruitment/Support||Yes||Local||The Virginia Regional Industrial Facilities Act is meant to aid the economic development of localities within the Commonwealth. The Act provides a mechanism for localities to establish regional industrial facility authorities, enabling them to pool financial resources to stimulate economic development. The purpose of a regional industrial facility authority is to enhance the economic base for the member localities by developing, owning, and operating one or more facilities on a cooperative basis involving its member localities.|
|Virginia Resources Authority Act (Virginia)||Virginia||Bond Program|
Public Benefits Fund
|Yes||State/Province||The Virginia Resources Authority provides financing options to support community investment in a number of areas, including wastewater, flood prevention and dam safety, solid waste, water, land conservation and preservation, energy, and site acquisition and development for economic and community development. The Authority also administers the Water Facilities, Water Supply, and Solid Waste or Recycling Revolving Funds, as described in subsequent chapters of the Virginia Code.|
|Virginia Waste Management Act (Virginia)||Virginia||Environmental Regulations||Yes||State/Province||Solid waste and hazardous waste are regulated under a number of programs at the Department of Environmental Quality. These programs are designed to encourage the reuse and recycling of solid waste and to regulate the disposal and treatment of solid waste, including regulated medical waste, and to ensure that hazardous waste is properly managed. Standards are designed to protect human health and the environment and are driven by regulatory requirements. The Virginia solid waste and hazardous waste programs are primarily implemented through DEQ’s regional offices, which provide primary review of solid waste permits and conduct inspection of solid waste management facilities. Regional offices conduct regular inspections of hazardous waste generators and hazardous waste management facilities. Permits for the hazardous waste program are issued through DEQ’s central office.|
|Voluntary Renewable Energy Portfolio Goal (Virginia)||Virginia||Renewables Portfolio Standard||Yes||State/Territory||As part of legislation to re-regulate the state's electricity industry, Virginia enacted a voluntary renewable energy portfolio goal in 2007. Legislation passed in 2009 (HB 1994) expanded the goal, encouraging investor-owned utilities to procure a percentage of the power sold in Virginia from eligible renewable energy sources. Legislation passed in 2012 (SB 413) allows investor-owned utilities to meet up to 20% of a renewable energy goal through certificated research and development activity expenses related to renewable energy and alternative energy sources. In addition to allowing participating utilities to recover costs for RPS programs, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) also offers utilities an increased rate of return (profit) for each “RPS Goal” attained from qualified renewable energy generation facilities approved before January 1, 2013 or offshore wind and nuclear power facilities after July 1, 2013. Power purchase agreements entered into after July 1, 2013 transfers ownership of RECs to participating utility.
Each investor-owned electric utility must report to the Commission annually by November 1st on its efforts, if any, to meet the RPS Goals, its overall generation of renewable energy, and any advances in renewable generation technology. Electricity must be generated in Virginia or in the interconnection region of the regional transmission entity.
The RPS targets are defined as percentages of the amount of electricity sold in 2007 (the "base year"), minus the average annual percentage of power supplied from nuclear generators between 2004 and 2006.
The RPS schedule is as follows:
Investor-owned incumbent electric utilities can gain approval to participate in the voluntary RPS program from the SCC if the utility demonstrates that it has a reasonable expectation of achieving the 12% target in 2022.
Eligible Technologies Eligible energy resources include solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower*, wave, tidal, and biomass energy.
* Hydropower excludes pumped storage, and the amount of wood derived from trees that would be otherwise used by Virginia lumber and pulp manufacturers is capped at 1.5 million tons annually.
|Voluntary Solar Resource Development Fund (Virginia)||Virginia||Public Benefits Fund||Yes||State/Territory||In April 2011, the Virginia legislature created the Voluntary Solar Resource Development Fund. The fund is administered by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). All utilities are required to provide a link on their web site to the DMME web site, where customers can make contributions to the fund. Utilities must also provide opportunities for customers to donate through their paper newsletters, emails or bills. The fund will be used to provide loans for residential, commercial, or nonprofit solar energy projects. Qualifying solar energy projects cannot be acquired, installed or operating before July 1, 2012.|
|Water-Power Development, Conservation of Hydroelectric Power Dams and Works (Virginia)||Virginia||Siting and Permitting||Yes||State/Province||It is the policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia to encourage the utilization of its water resources to the greatest practicable extent, to control the waters of the Commonwealth, and also to construct or reconstruct dams in any rivers or streams within the Commonwealth for the generation of hydroelectric energy for use or sale in public service. The State Corporation Commission is responsible for regulating the development of waters of the Commonwealth. A license from the Commission is required prior to the construction or reconstruction of any dam in the Commonwealth that will be used for the generation of hydroelectric energy. This legislation contains additional information on the siting, permitting, and licensing of hydroelectric dams.|
|Watercourses (Virginia)||Virginia||Siting and Permitting||Yes||State/Province||No entity may construct a dam or other obstruction on any watercourse that has been declared to be navigable or a public highway.|