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Gov. Youngkin Signs Bills to Expand Shared Solar Access

The bipartisan effort will allow more Virginians to take advantage of the benefits of local, distributed renewable energy. 

Richmond, Virginia – Governor Glenn Youngkin signed SB 253/HB 106 and SB 255/HB 108, patroned by Senate Majority Leader Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax County) and Delegate Rip Sullivan (D-Fairfax County), to improve and expand shared solar access in Dominion Energy territories and create a shared solar program for customers in southwest Virginia. 

“This legislation enables the continued advancement of shared solar in Virginia and proves that both sides of the aisle recognize the value local energy can bring to their constituents,” said Charlie Coggeshall, Mid-Atlantic regional director for the Coalition for Community Solar Access. “We look forward to implementing these bills at the State Corporation Commission .” 

SB 253/HB 106 will enable up to 150 MW to be added to Dominion Energy’s shared solar program, allowing certain projects located on rooftops, brownfields, landfills, or dual-use agricultural facilities to be eligible for incentives determined by the Virginia Department of Energy. SB 255/HB 108 will create a shared solar program of 50 megawatts for Appalachian Power Company. Both bills require consideration of the benefits of shared solar to the electric grid and to the State in calculating the minimum bill for each utility. Combined, these bills are far less ambitious than what was originally envisioned by industry at the beginning of the legislative session, however, they represent compromise and incremental progress for shared solar in Virginia.

“Many, including myself, have been working diligently to develop a robust shared solar program in Virginia since 2020,” said Majority Leader Scott Surovell. “I’m optimistic that this legislation will make it a reality for the entire commonwealth. Thank you to all of the stakeholders who worked tirelessly to ensure this legislation is sustainable and in the best interest of Virginians.” 

“A lot of effort went into these bills to balance the interests of legislators, advocates, and key stakeholders,” said Delegate Rip Sullivan. “I am pleased to have helped drive that process to the finish line. I look forward to seeing shared solar expanded to more customers in Virginia.”

This is an achievement for the Youngkin Administration’s 2022 Virginia Energy Plan, which included multiple recommendations on additional energy sources for electricity customers to choose from and emphasized the need to “remove barriers to distributed generation, including shared solar, and increase the ability of Virginians to install power resources on their property.” 

Virginia’s victory is the latest of many wins for community solar across the country as the industry moves swiftly towards reaching the goal set by the National Community Solar Partnership to triple the amount of community solar deployed by 2025.