5 GW of Solar And Wind In Virginia? Yes, Please.

By Frank Andorka, Senior Correspondent

What Happened: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed a sweeping electricity bill yesterday that had been championed by the state’s largest utility, Dominion Energy.

  • The bill declares 5 GW of solar and wind development as being in the public interest.
  • It also discusses how adding renewable resources will also modernize the grid.

SolarWakeup’s View:  This bill shouldn’t surprise anyone. Shortly before he left office, former Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a raft of legislation to offer support for the solar industry across every segment, designed to encourage solar development in the state.

From yesterday’s signing of Senate Bill 966, dubbed the Grid Transformation and Security Act, new Governor Ralph Northam is clearly seizing the mantle of being a pro-renewables state leader.

The legislation declares wind and solar development as being in the public interest (which, of course, it is), as well as well as calling for the development of 5 GW in renewable energy. What is unclear is whether that development will only take place under the auspices of Dominion or whether it will also encourage rooftop solar.

It’s not a small matter. The biggest weakness in our current grid (as I wrote about yesterday) is the transmission wires. To truly modernize the grid,

it will require more rooftop solar and fewer utility-scale projects. Otherwise, you’re still just adhering to an outdated, centralized production model that somewhat undermines solar’s distributed-generation advantages.

Don’t get me wrong: Any bill that promotes solar in any form is good for the industry, especially in uncertain times. And Dominion Energy has shown itself to be one of the more solar-progressive utilities in the country. But what role rooftop solar plays into these ambitious plans is something that needs to be watched... Read the rest of the story on SolarWakeUp.com HERE