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House Appropriations- CANT"

HB1902

Solar Demonstration Projects Grant Program; established, Solar Energy Special Fund created

https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?191+sum+HB1902

Solar Demonstration Projects Grant Program. ;Establishes the Solar Demonstration Projects Grant Program (the Program). The Program, to be administered by the Virginia Solar Energy Center, will make $1 billion in grants available over three years to religious institutions (to the extent permitted under Article IV, Section 16 of the Constitution of Virginia), public schools, institutions of higher education, and localities in order to finance the installation and operation of solar photovoltaic energy generation systems. Grants may be used by the eligible entity to make payments (i) to an EPC firm that will install or operate the solar facility, which will be owned by the eligible entity, or (ii) to a third party that will own and operate the solar facility pursuant to a third-party power purchase agreement. The measure provides that the sale of electric power under a third-party power purchase agreement does not constitute a retail sale of electricity and is not subject to regulation by the State Corporation Commission. The measure establishes the Solar Energy Special Fund from which the grants are to be paid. Sources of moneys in the Fund include $1 billion in voluntary contributions over three years that are required to be made by each Phase I Utility and each Phase II Utility. The utilities are barred from recovering the contributed funds from ratepayers by raising electricity rates, adding fees, or other means. Of the grants awarded, 40 percent shall be awarded to congregations, 50 percent shall be awarded to educational institutions, and 10 percent shall be awarded to localities. The measure establishes a Community Advisory Board to oversee the implementation of the Program.


Rasoul

The bill sets an agenda for investment in high-growth fields, and intends to assist low-income communities.

1) The bill provides greater equity to solar access in Richmond.

2) The bill hugely ;benefits schools, especially in underserved, low-income areas.

3) Virginia lags behind in solar energy investments.

1) Dominion Energy opposes the bill due to the mandatory payments.

Fiscal impact statement needed.

Tabled

Laid on the table 5-3.