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Virginia

An arrow graphic shows that Virginia's voluntary renewable portfolio goal increases from 7% in 2017, to 15% in 2025.

Carve-out: None
Tracking system: PJM-Generation Attributes Tracking System (PJM-GATS)

Virginia's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) is not compulsory, but requires each investor-owned utility (IOU) to report its efforts to meet the goals. The targets are defined as percentages of the amount of retail electricity sales in 2007 (base year). Renewable energy credits (RECs) generated in Virginia can be used to fulfill utilities' targets. Solar RECs can participate in the Pennsylvania SREC market.

Latest Updates

  • Virginia passed SB 1393 in March 2017, requiring the IOUs to administer community solar pilot programs.
  • In April 2017, Virginia passed HB 2390, which expands renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) pilot programs to include Appalachian Power. Solar systems with a capacity between 50 kW and 1 MW are eligible for third-party PPAs.

Net Metering

Net metering is available to customers of IOUs and electric cooperatives in Virginia. Net-metered solar PV systems >10 kW are subject to standby charges established by the utility. Please check utility standby rates.

System size limit: Residential 20 kW, non-residential 1 MW, agricultural 500 kW. New agricultural generators will not be eligible for net metering after June 2019.

Aggregate cap: 1% of utility's adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year.

Credit: Net excess generation is credited at the retail rate.

RECs: Customers retain ownership of RECs, with the option to sell to utility.

Meter aggregation: Agricultural customers can aggregate electric meters into a single account up to 500 kW; not addressed for other sectors.

Interconnection

Virginia has one set of interconnection standards for net-metered systems and one set for other systems up to 20 MW. For net-metered systems, customers submit the application for interconnection to distribution utilities, which has 30 days to determine if the requirements are met for interconnection for residential customers and 60 days for non-residential customers.

Eligible Systems Type of Interconnection
≤500 kW Level 1 (evaluation and no additional studies; $100 application fee)
>500 kW and ≤2 MW Level 2 (initial review, possible supplemental review; $500 application fee)
>2 MW and ≤20 MW Level 3 ($1000 application fee or 50% of estimated cost of feasibility study)

System size limit: 20 MW

Liability insurance: Varies by size; net-metered systems >10 kW must have at least $300,000 in coverage.

External disconnect switch: Requirement at utility's discretion

Third Party Ownership

hird party PPAs are allowed in Virginia through pilot programs conducted by the IOUs. Dominion's program is limited to at most 50 MW, while Appalachian's program is limited to a total of 7 MW. Solar projects between 50 kW and 1 MW are eligible for third party PPAs under the pilot programs.

Community Solar

Virginia requires IOUs Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power to conduct community solar pilot programs for retail customers after July 1, 2017. The IOUs are required to select generating facilities for the pilot programs through an RFP process. The total generating capacity of the eligible generating facilities in Appalachian Power's program must be between 500 kW and 10 MW and in Dominion's program between 10 MW and 40 MW. Each generating facility's generating capacity is capped at 2 MW.

State Incentive Programs

Program Administrator Incentive
Commercial Solar Property Tax Exemption Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy All commercial solar generation systems <20 MW with appropriate certification are exempt from state and local property taxes.

Utility Incentive Programs

Utility Incentive Limitations
Dominion Power Provides a production-based incentive of $0.15/kWh for five years with no standby charge. Program capped at 3 MW, with 60% of capacity reserved for residential and 40% for nonresidential customers. Nonresidential system cap is 50 kW.

Resources

The list below provides some resources for each type of policy or program. Please reference and contact relevant authorities and local utilities for the most up-to-date and accurate information on state and utility policies and incentive programs.

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Net metering and interconnection

Community solar

Programs and incentives