The Virginia House and Senate passed two versions of the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA), a bill that would create a renewable portfolio standard in Virginia and require utilities and competitive suppliers to increase the percentage of electricity produced from clean energy annually, until they achieve 100% renewably-sourced energy by 2050.
A study by the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Urban and Regional Analysis found the Act could create 29,500 local solar jobs and generate over $4.3 billion in economic investment over the next decade.
Following is a statement from Sean Gallagher, VP of state affairs at SEIA, on the progress made by the Virginia Assembly:
“Senators and Delegates in the Virginia General Assembly made it clear that they’re ready to transform their energy economy with clean, reliable solar energy. Using a mandate, the Virginia Clean Economy Act would enable the Commonwealth to achieve 100% renewable energy. By 2030, the bill would create nearly 30,000 local solar jobs, add billions to the Virginia economy and expand solar access to all Virginians. Virginia now has the opportunity to be a national leader in responsible clean energy growth. We urge the Virginia Assembly to continue to advance this historic bill.”
“We are excited to see this landmark energy legislation move forward, as we transition the Commonwealth to a clean economy and expand access to distributed solar,” said Rachel Smucker, Virginia policy and development manager for the Maryland Delaware Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA). “We appreciate the leadership of Senator Jennifer McClellan and Delegate Rip Sullivan, all of our co-patrons, Governor Ralph Northam, and the strong coalition of stakeholders who remain committed to expanding access to distributed solar.”
“Rooftop solar is the economic backbone of the Virginia Clean Economy Act and this legislation will dramatically expand access to rooftop solar,” said Karla Loeb, chair of the distributed generation policy Committee for MDV-SEIA and chief policy & development officer for Sigora Solar. “With this expansion, solar will be more accessible to low- and moderate-income customers and tens of thousands of good-paying jobs will be created. This is a huge step forward for our industry.”
News item from SEIA. Correction on Feb. 13 to reflect that the two bills were not identical.