Authorities

Authorities
8/22/2017

Electric Authorities Act

§ 15.2-5400. Short title

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Electric Authorities Act."

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1603; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5401. Intent of General Assembly

It is the intent of the General Assembly by the passage of this chapter to authorize the creation of electric authorities by localities of this Commonwealth, either acting jointly or separately, in order to provide facilities for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power and energy, and to vest such authorities with all powers that may be necessary to enable them to accomplish such purposes, which powers shall be exercised for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Commonwealth.

It is further the intent of the General Assembly that in order to achieve the economies and efficiencies made possible by the proper planning, financing, sizing and location of facilities for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power and energy which are not practical for any locality or electric authority acting alone, and to insure an adequate, reliable and economical supply of electric power and energy to the inhabitants of the Commonwealth, electric authorities shall be authorized to jointly cooperate and plan, finance, develop, own and operate with other electric authorities and other public corporations and governmental entities and investor-owned electric power companies and electric power cooperative associations or corporations, within or outside the Commonwealth, electric generation, transmission, and distribution facilities in order to provide for the present and future requirements of the electric authorities and their participating localities. It is further the intent of the General Assembly that an authority that is created by the Town of Elkton and that is limited by its articles of incorporation to having the Town of Elkton as its sole member throughout its life is authorized to become an authority to distribute electric energy for retail sale. The distribution of electric energy for retail sale by an authority that is created by the Town of Elkton and that is limited by its articles of incorporation to having the Town of Elkton as its sole member throughout its life shall be limited to the geographic area that was served as of January 1, 2006, by the Town of Elkton.

Accordingly, it is determined that the exercise of the powers granted herein will benefit the inhabitants of the Commonwealth and serve a valid public purpose in improving and otherwise promoting their health, welfare and prosperity.

This chapter shall be liberally construed in conformity with these intentions.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1604; 1997, c. 587; 2006, cc. 929, 941.

§ 15.2-5402. Definitions

Wherever used in this chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears in the context:

"Authority" means a political subdivision and a body politic and corporate created, organized and existing pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, or if the authority is abolished, the board, body, commission, department or officer succeeding to the principal functions thereof or to whom the powers given by this chapter shall be given by law.

"Bonds" or "revenue bonds" means bonds, notes and other evidences of indebtedness of an authority issued by the authority pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

"Cost" or "cost of a project" means, but shall not be limited to, the cost of acquisition, construction, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, betterment or extension of any project, including the cost of studies, plans, specifications, surveys, and estimates of costs and revenues relating thereto, the cost of labor and materials; the cost of land, land rights, rights-of-way and easements, water rights, fees, permits, approvals, licenses, certificates, franchises, and the preparation of applications for and securing the same; administrative, legal, engineering and inspection expenses; financing fees, expenses and costs; working capital; costs of fuel and of fuel supply resources and related facilities; interest on bonds during the period of construction and for such reasonable period thereafter as may be determined by the issuing authority; establishment of reserves; and all other expenditures of the issuing authority incidental, necessary or convenient to the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, betterment or extension of any project and the placing of the project in operation.

"Governmental unit" means any incorporated city or town in the Commonwealth owning on January 1, 1979, a system or facilities for the generation, transmission or distribution of electric power and energy for public and private uses and engaged in the generation or retail distribution of electricity; any incorporated city in the Commonwealth which on January 1, 1979, has a population of 200,000 or more; or any county or incorporated city or town in the Commonwealth which after January 1, 1979, is authorized to participate in an authority pursuant to an act of the General Assembly.

"Project" means any system of facilities for the generation, transmission, transformation, supply, or distribution of electric power and energy by any means whatsoever, including fuel and fuel supply resources and other related facilities, any interest therein and any right to output, capacity or services thereof, but does not include facilities for the distribution of electric energy for retail sale unless the facilities are owned by an authority created by a governmental unit that is exempt from the referendum requirement of § 15.2-5403, and the distribution is limited to retail sales within the geographic area that was served as of January 1, 2006, by the governmental unit that is the sole member of such authority.

"Unit" means any governmental unit; any electric authority; any investor-owned electric power company; any electric cooperative association or corporation; the Commonwealth or any other state; or any department, institution, commission, public instrumentality or political subdivision of the Commonwealth, any other state, or the United States.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1605; 1997, c. 587; 2006, cc. 929, 941.

§ 15.2-5403. Creation of electric authority; referendum

The governing body of a governmental unit may by ordinance, or the governing bodies of two or more governmental units may by concurrent ordinances or agreement authorized by ordinance of each of the respective governmental units, create an electric authority, under any appropriate name and title containing the words "electric authority." Upon compliance with the provisions of this section and §§ 15.2-5404 and 15.2-5405, the authority shall be a political subdivision of the Commonwealth and a body politic and corporate. Any such ordinance shall be adopted in accordance with applicable general or special laws or charter provisions providing for the adoption of ordinances of the particular governmental unit, and shall be published once a week for two successive weeks prior to adoption in a newspaper of general circulation within the governmental unit. The second publication shall not be sooner than one calendar week after the first publication.

No governmental unit shall participate as a member of such an authority unless and until such participation is authorized by a majority of the voters voting in a referendum held in the governmental unit on the question of whether or not the governmental unit should participate in the authority. The referendum shall be held as provided in §§ 24.2-682 and 24.2-684. The foregoing referendum requirement shall not apply to the Town of Elkton if the Town creates an authority by an ordinance that includes articles of incorporation which comply with the provisions of § 15.2-5404 and also set forth a statement that such authority shall have only the Town as its sole member throughout its life.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1606; 1997, c. 587; 2006, cc. 929, 941.

§ 15.2-5404. Articles of incorporation

Each ordinance or agreement providing for the creation of an authority shall include articles of incorporation which shall set forth:

1. The name of the authority and the address of its principal office;

2. The names of the governmental units which are to be the initial members of the authority;

3. The purpose or purposes for which the authority is to be created;

4. The number of directors who shall initially serve on the board of directors which shall exercise the powers of the authority, the number of directors from each member governmental unit, and the names, addresses and terms of office of the initial directors of the authority; and

5. Any other provisions for regulating the business of the authority or the conduct of its affairs, including provisions for amendment of the articles of incorporation.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1607; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5405. Certificate of incorporation or charter; addition and withdrawal of members; board of directors; indemnification of directors, officers or employees

A. After adoption or approval of the ordinances or agreement providing for the creation of an authority, the articles of incorporation of the authority shall be filed with the State Corporation Commission. If the State Corporation Commission finds that the articles of incorporation conform to law, and the creation of such an authority is in the public interest, a certificate of incorporation or charter shall forthwith be issued, and thereupon the authority shall constitute a political subdivision of the Commonwealth and a body politic and corporate and shall be deemed to have been lawfully and properly created, established and authorized to exercise the powers granted under this chapter.

In any suit, action or proceeding involving the validity or enforcement of, or relating to, any contract or action of the authority, the authority, in the absence of establishing fraud in the premises, shall be conclusively deemed to have been established in accordance with the provisions of this chapter upon proof of the issuance of the aforesaid certificate by the State Corporation Commission. A copy of such certificate, duly certified by the State Corporation Commission, shall be admissible in evidence in any such suit, action or proceeding, and shall be conclusive evidence of the filing and contents thereof.

Notice of the issuance of such certificate by the State Corporation Commission shall be given to each of the member governmental units of the authority by the State Corporation Commission.

B. After the creation of an authority, any other governmental unit may become a member thereof upon application to such authority after the adoption of an ordinance by the governing body of the governmental unit authorizing such governmental unit to become a member of the authority, and with the unanimous consent of the members of the authority evidenced by ordinances of their respective governing bodies. Except for an authority created by a governmental unit exempt from the referendum requirement of § 15.2-5403, any governmental unit may withdraw from an authority; however, all contractual rights acquired and obligations incurred while a governmental unit was a member shall remain in full force and effect.

In the case of the joining of a new member governmental unit to an authority, or in the case of the withdrawal of an existing member governmental unit from an authority, the articles of incorporation of the authority shall be amended to evidence such joinder or withdrawal, as the case may be, and such amendment shall be filed with the State Corporation Commission. Thereupon, the State Corporation Commission shall issue a certificate of joinder or withdrawal, as the case may be, to which shall be attached a copy of the amendment to the articles of incorporation. The joining or withdrawal shall become effective upon the issuance of such certificate.

C. The powers of each authority created by the governing body of a single governmental unit shall be exercised by a board of five directors, or, at the option of the governing body of the particular governmental unit, a number of directors equal to the number of persons on the governing body of the governmental unit. The powers of each authority created by the governing bodies of two or more governmental units shall be exercised by a board of such number of directors specified in its articles of incorporation, which shall be not less than one member for each governmental unit and not less than a total of five directors. The directors of an authority shall be selected in the manner and for the terms provided by the ordinance of a single governmental unit, or the concurrent ordinances or agreement of two or more of the governmental units creating the authority. No director shall be appointed for a term of more than four years but a director may be reappointed and succeed himself or herself. Directors shall hold office until their successors have been appointed. When one or more additional governmental units join an existing authority, each of such joining governmental units shall appoint not less than one director of the authority.

The directors of the authority shall elect one of their number chairman of the authority, and shall elect a secretary and treasurer and such other officers as are deemed necessary who need not be directors of the authority. The offices of secretary and treasurer may be combined. A majority of the directors of the authority shall constitute a quorum, and the vote of a majority of the directors shall be necessary for any action taken by the authority. No vacancy in the board of directors of the authority shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the authority. If a vacancy occurs by reason of the death, disqualification or resignation of a director, the governing body of the governmental unit which appointed such director shall appoint a successor to fill his unexpired term. In the event of a vacancy in the board of directors for any reason, a successor shall be appointed within six months of the date on which such vacancy occurred.

Whenever a governmental unit withdraws from an authority, the term of any director appointed to the board of directors from such governmental unit shall immediately terminate, and, if such termination results in less than five directors of the authority, additional directors shall be selected in the manner and for the terms provided by the ordinances or agreement creating the authority so as to comply with the requirements of this section. No elected official of a member governmental unit shall be a director of an authority. No person shall serve as a director unless he resides within the governmental unit which has appointed him. Directors shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed from time to time by resolution or resolutions of the governing body or bodies of the member governmental unit or units of the authority, and shall be reimbursed for any actual expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties.

D. An authority may defend, indemnify against loss or liability and save harmless any of its directors, officers or employees whenever a claim or demand is made or threatened, or whenever proceeded against in any investigation or before any court, board, commission or other public body to defend or maintain his official position or a position taken in the course of the execution of his duties or because of any act or omission arising out of the performance of his official duties if the director, officer or employee acted in good faith and in a manner he reasonably believed to be in, or not opposed to, the best interests of the authority. If it is ultimately determined that a director, officer or employee of an authority is entitled to be indemnified by the authority as authorized in this section, he shall be indemnified against expenses, including attorneys' fees, actually and reasonably incurred by him in connection therewith. Expenses, including attorneys' fees, incurred in defending a civil action, suit or proceeding may be paid by an authority in advance of the final disposition of such action, suit or proceeding as authorized in the manner provided in this section upon receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the director, officer or employee, to repay such amount unless it shall ultimately be determined that he is entitled to be indemnified by the authority as authorized in this section.

The indemnification provided by this section shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which those indemnified may be entitled under any bylaw, agreement, or otherwise, both as to action in his official capacity and as to action in another capacity while holding such office, and shall continue as to a person who has ceased to be a director, officer or employee, and shall inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors and administrators of such person. An authority shall have power to purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was a director, officer or employee of the authority against any liability asserted against him and incurred by him in any such capacity or arising out of his status as such, whether or not the authority would have the power to indemnify him against such liability under the provisions of this section.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1608; 1997, c. 587; 2006, cc. 929, 941.

§ 15.2-5405.1. Applicability of personnel and procurement procedures to certain authorities

The provisions of the Virginia Personnel Act (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) and the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) shall apply to an authority created by a governmental unit exempt from the referendum requirement of § 15.2-5403 in the exercise of any power conferred under this article only to the extent that such provisions would have applied to the sole member of such authority in the exercise of such power directly.

2006, cc. 929, 941.

§ 15.2-5406. Rights, powers and duties of authority

An authority shall have all of the rights and powers necessary and convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the rights and powers:

1. To adopt bylaws or rules for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business;

2. To adopt an official seal and alter the same at pleasure;

3. To maintain an office at such place or places as it may designate;

4. To sue and be sued;

5. To receive, administer and comply with the conditions and requirements respecting any gift, grant or donation of any property or money;

6. To study, plan, research, develop, finance, construct, reconstruct, acquire, improve, enlarge, extend, better, lease, own, operate and maintain any project or any interest in any project, within or outside the Commonwealth, including the acquisition of an ownership interest in any project as a tenant in common with any other unit or units whether public or private, and to enter into and perform contracts with respect thereto, and if the authority acquires an ownership interest as a tenant in common in any project within the Commonwealth, the surrender or waiver by any such owner of its right to partition such property for a period not exceeding the period for which the property is used or useful for electric utility purposes shall not be invalid and unenforceable by reason of length of such period or as unduly restricting the alienation of such property;

7. To acquire by private negotiated purchase or lease or otherwise an existing project, a project under construction, or other property within or outside the Commonwealth, either individually or jointly with any other unit or units whether public or private; to acquire by private negotiated purchase or lease or otherwise any facilities for the development, production, manufacture, procurement, handling, transportation, storage, fabrication, enrichment, processing or reprocessing of fuel of any kind or any facility or rights with respect to the supply of water; and to enter into agreements by private negotiation or otherwise, for such period as the authority shall determine, for the development, production, manufacture, procurement, handling, storage, fabrication, enrichment, processing or reprocessing of fuel of any kind or any facility or rights with respect to the supply of water;

8. To acquire by purchase, lease, gift, or otherwise, or to obtain options for the acquisition of, any property, real or personal, improved or unimproved, including an interest in land less than the fee thereof;

9. To sell, lease, exchange, transfer or otherwise dispose of, or to grant options for any such purposes with respect to, any real or personal property or interest therein;

10. To dispose of by private negotiated sale or lease or otherwise an existing project, a project under construction, or other property owned either individually or jointly, and to dispose of by private negotiated sale or lease or otherwise any facilities for the development, production, manufacture, procurement, handling, transportation, storage, fabrication, enrichment, processing or reprocessing of fuel of any kind or any facility or rights with respect to the supply of water;

11. To borrow money and issue revenue bonds of the authority in the manner hereinafter provided;

12. To accept advice and money from any member governmental unit of the authority;

13. To apply and contract for and to expend assistance from the United States or other public or private sources, whether in form of a grant or loan or otherwise;

14. To fix, charge and collect rents, rates, fees and charges for output or capacity of any project and for the use of, or for, the other services, facilities and commodities sold, furnished or supplied through any project;

15. To authorize the acquisition, construction, operation or maintenance of any project by any unit or individual on such terms as the authority shall deem proper, and, in connection with any project which is owned jointly by the authority and one or more units, to act as agent, or designate one or more of the other units to act as agent, for all the owners of the project for the construction, operation or maintenance of such project;

16. To generate, produce, transmit, deliver, exchange, purchase or sell electric power and energy at wholesale or retail, and to enter into contracts for any or all such purposes;

17. To negotiate and enter into contracts for the purchase, sale, exchange, interchange, wheeling, pooling, transmission or use of electric power and energy at wholesale or retail with any unit within or outside the Commonwealth;

18. To purchase power and energy and related services from any source on behalf of its member governmental units and other customers and to sell the same to its member governmental units and other customers in such amounts, with such characteristics, for such periods of time and under such terms and conditions as the authority shall determine;

19. In the event of any annexation by a governmental unit which is not a member governmental unit of the authority of lands, areas, or territory in which the authority's projects exist, to continue to do business and to exercise jurisdiction over its properties and facilities in and upon or over such lands, areas or territory as long as any bonds remain outstanding or unpaid, or any contracts or other obligations remain in force;

20. To amend the articles of incorporation with respect to the name or powers of such authority or in any other manner not inconsistent with this chapter by following the procedure prescribed by law for the creation of an authority;

21. To enter into contracts with any unit on such terms as the authority shall deem proper for the purposes of acting as a billing and collecting agent for electric service or electric service fees, rents or charges imposed by any such unit;

22. To pledge or assign any moneys, fees, rents, charges or other revenues and any proceeds derived by the authority from the sales of bonds, property, insurance or condemnation awards;

23. To make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient in the exercise of the powers and functions of the authority under this chapter, including contracts with persons, firms, corporations and others;

24. To apply to the appropriate agencies of the Commonwealth, the United States or any state thereof, and to any other proper agency for such permits, licenses, certificates or approvals as may be necessary, to construct, maintain and operate projects in accordance with such licenses, permits, certificates or approvals; and to obtain, hold and use such licenses, permits, certificates and approvals in the same manner as any other person or operating unit;

25. To employ such persons as may be required in the judgment of the authority and to fix and pay their compensation from funds available to the authority therefor; and

26. To do all acts and things necessary and convenient to carry out the purposes and to exercise the powers granted to the authority herein.

In undertaking a project, an authority shall apply to the appropriate agencies of the Commonwealth, the United States, or any state therein, for such permits, licenses, certificates, or approvals as may be necessary, including, in any event, those referred to in §§ 56-46.1, 56-234.3, and 56-265.2; former § 62.1-3; and Chapter 7 (§ 62.1-80 et seq.) of Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. An authority shall construct, maintain and operate such projects in accordance with such permits, licenses, certificates and approvals. The foregoing sentence shall apply to an authority created by a governmental unit exempt from the referendum requirement of § 15.2-5403 only to the extent that it would have applied to the governmental unit that is the sole member of such authority if the governmental unit had directly undertaken the project.

In determining which project or projects to undertake in furtherance of its purposes and powers under this chapter, an authority shall take into account estimated future power requirements of member governmental units which have entered into, or propose to enter into, contracts with the authority for the purchase of output, capacity, use or services of such project or projects, and in making such determinations the authority shall consider the following:

1. Economies and efficiencies to be achieved in constructing, on a large scale, facilities for the generation and distribution of electric power and energy;

2. Needs of the authority for reserve and peaking capacity and to meet obligations under pooling and reserve-sharing agreements reasonably related to its needs for power and energy to which the authority is or may become a party;

3. Estimated useful life of such project;

4. Estimated time necessary for the planning, development, acquisition, or construction of such project and length of time required in advance to obtain, acquire or construct an additional power supply for the member governmental units of the authority; and

5. Reliability and availability of alternative power supply sources and cost of such alternative power supply sources.

Nothing herein contained shall prevent an authority from undertaking studies to determine whether there is a need for a project or whether such project is feasible.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1609; 1997, c. 587; 2006, cc. 929, 941.

§ 15.2-5406.1. Retail distribution of electric energy limited to certain authorities

Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter to the contrary, an authority is not authorized to distribute electric energy for retail sale unless the authority is an authority created by a governmental unit exempt from the referendum requirement of § 15.2-5403. Such distribution shall be limited to retail sales within the geographic area that was, as of January 1, 2006, by the governmental unit of such authority. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impair or abridge the exclusive territorial electric distribution rights or property rights of any certificated incumbent public service company operating in the Commonwealth. No such authority is authorized or empowered to take by condemnation, eminent domain, or otherwise, the electric distribution system, utility facilities, or other utility property of any public service company without the consent of such public service company.

2006, cc. 929, 941.

§ 15.2-5406.2. Tort claims against certain authorities

An authority created by a governmental unit exempt from the referendum requirement of § 15.2-5403 shall be subject to tort liability only to the extent that the governmental unit that is the sole member of such authority is subject to such liability.

2006, cc. 929, 941.

§ 15.2-5407. Membership in more than one authority

Nothing herein contained shall prohibit any governmental unit from being a member of more than one authority for the purpose of obtaining an adequate electric power supply.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1610; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5408. Sale of power and energy, including capacity and output to member governmental units by authority; duration of contracts; source of payments; furnishing of money, property or services by member governmental units

Any member governmental unit of an authority may contract to buy from the authority power and energy required for its present or future requirements, including the capacity and output of one or more specified projects. Any such contract may provide that the governmental unit so contracting shall be obligated to make payments required by the contract whether or not a project is completed, operable or operating and notwithstanding the suspension, interruption, interference, reduction or curtailment of the output of a project or the power and energy contracted for, and that such payments under the contract shall not be subject to any reduction, whether by offset or otherwise, and shall not be conditioned upon the performance or nonperformance by the authority or any other member governmental unit under the contract or any other instrument. Such contracts with respect to any project may also provide, in the event of default by any member governmental unit which is a party to any such contract for such project in the performance of its obligations thereunder, for other member governmental units which are parties to any such contract for such project to succeed to the rights and interests and assume the obligations of the defaulting party, pro rata or otherwise as may be agreed upon in such contracts.

Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law or local charter provision to the contrary, any such contracts with respect to the sale or purchase of capacity, output, power or energy from a project may extend for a period not exceeding fifty years from the date a project is estimated to be placed in normal continuous operation; the execution and effectiveness thereof shall not be subject to any authorizations or approvals by the Commonwealth or any agency, commission or instrumentality or political subdivision thereof except as specifically required and provided in this chapter.

Payments by a governmental unit under any contract for the purchase of capacity and output from an authority shall be made solely from, and may be secured by a pledge of and lien upon, the revenues derived by such governmental unit from the ownership and operation of the electric system of such governmental unit, and such payments may be made as an operating expense of such electric system. No obligation under such contract shall constitute a legal or equitable pledge, charge, lien or encumbrance upon any property of the governmental unit or upon any of its income, receipts or revenues, except the revenues of its electric system, and neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the governmental unit are, or may be, pledged for the payment of any obligation under any such contract. A governmental unit shall be obligated to fix, charge and collect rents, rates, fees and charges for electric power and energy and other services, facilities and commodities sold, furnished or supplied through its electric system sufficient to provide revenues adequate to meet its obligations under any such contract and to pay any and all other amounts payable from or constituting a charge and lien upon such revenues, including amounts sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on bonds of such governmental unit heretofore or hereafter issued for purposes related to its electric system. Any pledge made by a governmental unit pursuant to this paragraph shall be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth.

Any member governmental unit of an authority may furnish the authority with money and provide the authority with personnel, equipment and property, both real and personal. Any member governmental unit may also provide any services to an authority. Any member governmental unit may contract for, advance or contribute funds to an authority as may be agreed upon by the authority, and the member governmental unit and the authority shall repay such advances or contributions from proceeds of bonds, from operating revenues or from any other funds of the authority, together with interest thereon as may be agreed upon by the member governmental units and authority.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1611; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5409. Sale of capacity and output to nonmembers; limitations

An authority may sell or exchange the capacity or output of a project not then required by any of its member governmental units for such consideration, for such period, and upon such other terms and conditions as may be determined by the parties, to any person, firm, association or corporation, public or private within or outside the Commonwealth; however, this shall not authorize retail sales by an authority to any nongovernmental end user of electric capacity or energy, except as set forth in § 15.2-5406.1, and sales of such capacity or output of a project shall not be made in such amounts, for such periods of time, and under such terms and conditions as will cause the interest on bonds issued to finance the cost of a project to become taxable by the federal government.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1612; 1997, c. 587; 2006, cc. 929, 941.

§ 15.2-5410. Contents of agreement as to joint ownership of project; designation of party to agreement as agent for construction, operation and maintenance of project; powers and duties of agent

Any agreement between an authority and a unit with respect to the joint ownership of a project shall provide that each party to the agreement shall own a percentage of the project equal to the percentage of the money furnished or the value of property supplied by the respective parties for the acquisition and construction thereof and shall own and control a like percentage of the output thereof. The agreement shall further provide that an authority shall be liable only for its own acts thereunder and that no moneys or other contributions supplied by an authority shall be applied in any way to the account of any other party to the agreement. Any such agreement may contain such terms, conditions, and provisions as the board of directors of an authority shall deem to be in the best interest of such authority.

The agreement may include, but shall not be limited to, provisions for the construction, operation and maintenance of a project by one of the parties thereto, which shall be designated in or pursuant to such agreement as agent on behalf of itself and the other parties, or by such other means as may be determined by the parties and provisions for a uniform method of determining, and allocating among the parties, costs of construction, operation, maintenance, renewals, replacements, and improvements with respect to such project. In carrying out its functions and activities as such agent with respect to the construction, operation, and maintenance of such a project, including without limitation the letting of contracts therefor, the agent shall be governed by the laws and regulations applicable to such agent as a separate legal entity and not by any laws or regulations which may be applicable to any of the other parties. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, the authority may delegate its powers and duties with respect to the construction, operation and maintenance of such project to such agent, and all actions taken by the agent in accordance with the provisions of such agreement shall be binding upon each of the parties without further action or approval by their respective boards of directors or governing bodies. The agent shall be required to exercise all such powers and perform its duties and functions under the agreement in a manner consistent with prudent utility practice.

As used in this section, "prudent utility practice" means any of the practices, methods, and acts at a particular time which, in the exercise of reasonable judgment in the light of the facts, including but not limited to the practices, methods, and acts engaged in or approved by a significant portion of the electrical utility industry prior thereto, known at the time the decision was made, would have been expected to accomplish the desired result at the lowest reasonable cost consistent with reliability, safety and expedition.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1613; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5411. Contracts for planning, acquisition, construction, etc., of projects

An authority may contract for the planning, acquisition, construction, reconstruction, operation, maintenance, repair, extension, and improvement of a project or may contract with one or more units to perform these functions, by advertising for bids, preparing plans and specifications in advance of construction, or securing performances and payment bonds to the extent that its board of directors determines that these actions are desirable in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter. Except as otherwise provided by this section, no contract shall be invalid or unenforceable by reason of nonperformance of the conditions required by any other law relating to public contracts.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1614; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5412. Issuance of bonds by authority

An authority may issue from time to time its bonds in such principal amounts as the authority shall deem necessary to provide sufficient funds to carry out any of its corporate purposes and powers, including but not limited to the payment of all or any part of the cost of a project or projects. The principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on such bonds shall be payable solely from, and may be secured solely by, a pledge of and lien upon the revenues, or any portion thereof, derived or to be derived by the authority from one or more of its projects, or contributions or advances from its members, or moneys derived from any source, as the authority shall determine. Bonds of the authority shall be authorized by a resolution adopted by its board of directors, and such resolution shall be spread upon its minutes. The bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall bear interest at such rate or rates, shall mature at such time or times not exceeding fifty years from their date or dates, shall have such rank or priority and may be made redeemable before maturity at the option of the authority, at such price or prices and under such terms and conditions, as may be determined by the authority. The authority shall determine the form of the bonds, including any interest coupons to be attached thereto, and the manner of execution of the bonds, and shall fix the denomination or denominations of the bonds and the place or places of payment of principal and interest, which may be at any bank or trust company within or outside the Commonwealth. In case any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature appears on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be such officer before the delivery of such bonds, his signature or facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if he had remained in office until such delivery. The bonds may be issued in coupon or in registered form, or both, as the authority may determine, and provisions may be made for the registration of any coupon bonds as to principal alone and also as to both principal and interest, and for the reconversion into coupon bonds of any bonds registered as to both principal and interest. The authority may sell such bonds in such manner, either, at public or at private sale, and for such price as it may determine to be for the best interest of the authority and the member governmental units to be served thereby.

The issuance of such bonds shall not be subject to any limitations or conditions contained in any other law, and bonds may be issued without obtaining the consent of the Commonwealth or any political subdivisions, or of any agency, commission or instrumentality of either thereof, and without any other approvals, proceedings or the happening of any conditions or things other than those specifically required by this chapter and the provisions of the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds or the trust agreement securing the same.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1615; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5413. Interim receipts and temporary bonds; lost, stolen and destroyed bonds

Prior to the preparation of definitive bonds, the authority may issue interim receipts or temporary bonds, with or without coupons, exchangeable for definitive bonds when such bonds have been executed and are available for delivery.

Should any bond issued under this chapter or any coupon appertaining thereto become mutilated or be lost, stolen or destroyed, the authority may cause a new bond or coupon of like date, number and tenor to be executed and delivered in exchange and substitution for, and upon the cancellation of such mutilated bond or coupon, or in lieu of and in substitution for such lost, stolen or destroyed bond or coupon. Such new bond or coupon shall not be executed or delivered until the holder of the mutilated, lost, stolen or destroyed bond or coupon has (i) paid the reasonable expense and charges in connection therewith; (ii) in the case of a lost, stolen or destroyed bond or coupon, filed with the authority or its fiduciary evidence satisfactory to such authority or its fiduciary that such bond or coupon was lost, stolen or destroyed and that the holder was the owner thereof; and (iii) furnished indemnity satisfactory to the authority.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1616; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5414. Bonds not debts of Commonwealth or member governmental unit

Bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to constitute a pledge of the faith and credit of the Commonwealth or of any governmental unit thereof. All such bonds shall contain a statement on their face substantially to the effect that neither the faith and credit of the Commonwealth nor the faith and credit of any governmental unit of the Commonwealth is pledged to the payment of the principal of or the interest on such bonds. The issuance of bonds under the provisions of this chapter shall not directly, indirectly or contingently obligate the Commonwealth or any governmental unit of the Commonwealth to levy any taxes whatever therefor or to make any appropriation for their payment.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1617; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5415. Security for bonds; trust agreement; bond resolution

In the discretion of any authority, any revenue bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter may be secured by a trust agreement by and between the authority and a corporate trustee. Such corporate trustee, and any depository of funds of the authority, may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company within the Commonwealth. The resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds or the trust agreement may pledge or assign all or a portion of the revenues to be received by the authority in respect of any project or projects but shall not convey or mortgage any project, may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders as may be reasonable and proper and not in violation of law, and may restrict the individual right of action by bondholders. The trust agreement or the resolution providing for the issuance of such bonds may contain covenants including, but not limited to, the following:

1. The pledge of all or any part of the revenues derived from the project or projects to be financed by the bonds or from the electric system or facilities of the authority;

2. The rents, rates, fees and charges to be established, maintained, and collected, and the use and disposal of revenues, gifts, grants and funds received or to be received by the authority;

3. The setting aside of reserves and the investment, regulation and disposition thereof;

4. The custody, collection, securing, investment, and payment of any moneys held for the payment of bonds;

5. Limitations or restrictions on the purposes to which the proceeds of the sale of bonds then or thereafter to be issued may be applied;

6. Limitations or restrictions on the issuance of additional bonds, the terms upon which additional bonds may be issued and secured or the refunding of outstanding or other bonds;

7. The procedure, if any, by which the terms of any contract with bondholders may be amended, the percentage of bonds the bondholders of which must consent thereto, and the manner in which such consent may be given;

8. Events of default and the rights and liabilities arising thereupon, the terms and conditions upon which bonds issued under this chapter shall become or may be declared due before maturity, and the terms and conditions upon which such declaration and its consequences may be waived;

9. The preparation and maintenance of a budget;

10. The retention or employment of consulting engineers, independent auditors, and other technical consultants;

11. Limitations on or the prohibition of free service to any person, firm or corporation, public or private;

12. The acquisition and disposal of property, and the appointment of a receiver of the funds and property of the authority in the event of a default;

13. Provisions for insurance and for accounting reports and the inspection and audit thereof; and

14. The continuing operation and maintenance of the project or projects.

Any pledge made by an authority pursuant to this chapter shall be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1618; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5416. Rents, rates, fees and other charges

The authority is hereby authorized to fix, charge and collect rents, rates, fees and other charges for the purchase of output or capacity of, or for the use of and for the electric power and energy or services, facilities and commodities sold, furnished or supplied by, any project. Such rates, fees and charges shall be so fixed and revised as to provide funds, with other funds available for such purposes, sufficient at all times to (i) pay the cost of maintaining, operating and repairing the project or projects on account of which such bonds are issued, including reserves for such purposes and for replacement and depreciation and necessary extensions; (ii) pay the principal of and redemption premium, if any, and interest on the revenue bonds as the same shall become due and to create and maintain reserves therefor; (iii) comply with the terms of any resolution or trust agreement securing bonds of the authority; and (iv) pay any and all amounts which the authority may be obligated to pay from such revenues by law or contract.

In fixing rents, rates, fees and other charges as provided in this section, the authority shall hold a public hearing, advertised as required in § 15.2-5403, at which hearing the public may submit comments with respect to such rents, rates, fees and other charges to the authority. The authority shall charge and collect the rates, fees and charges so fixed or revised. Rates, rentals, fees and charges for the sale or purchase of output or capacity of, or for the use of and for the electric power and energy or services, facilities and commodities sold, furnished or supplied by a project may be fixed and revised and charged and collected by the authority under this chapter without obtaining the approval or consent of any department, division, commission, board, bureau or agency of the Commonwealth, and without any other proceeding or the happening of any other condition or thing than those proceedings, conditions or things which are specifically required by this chapter.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1619; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5417. Moneys received deemed trust funds

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, all moneys received pursuant to the authority of this chapter, whether as proceeds from the sale of bonds or as revenues, shall be deemed to be trust funds to be held and applied solely as provided in this chapter. The resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds or the trust agreement securing such bonds may provide that any of such moneys may be temporarily invested and reinvested, pending the disbursement thereof, in such securities and other investments as shall be provided in such resolution or trust agreement, and shall provide that any officer with whom, or any bank or trust company with which, such moneys are deposited shall act as trustee of such moneys and shall hold and apply the same for the purposes hereof, subject to such regulations as this chapter and the resolution or trust agreement may provide.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1620; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5418. Bondholders' and trustees' remedies

Any holder of bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter or any of the coupons appertaining thereto, and the trustee under any trust agreement, except to the extent the rights herein given may be restricted by such trust agreement or the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds, may, either at law or in equity, by suit, action, mandamus or other proceeding, protect and enforce any and all rights under the laws of the Commonwealth or granted hereunder, or, to the extent permitted by law, under such trust agreement or resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds or under any agreement or other contract executed by the authority pursuant to this chapter, and may enforce and compel the performance of all duties required by this chapter or by such trust agreement or resolution to be performed by any authority or by any officer thereof, including the fixing, charging and collecting of rents, rates, fees and charges for the purchase of output or capacity of any project or for the use of or for the electric power and energy or services furnished by any project.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1621; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5419. Refunding bonds

An authority created hereunder is hereby authorized to provide by resolution for the issuance of revenue refunding bonds of the authority for the purpose of refunding any revenue bonds then outstanding and issued under the provisions of this chapter, whether or not such outstanding bonds have matured or are then subject to redemption. Each such authority is further authorized to provide by resolution for the issuance of a single issue of revenue bonds of the authority for the combined purposes of (i) paying the cost of any project and (ii) refunding the revenue bonds of the authority which have been issued under the provisions of this chapter and are then outstanding, whether or not such outstanding bonds have matured or are then subject to redemption. The issuance of such bonds, the maturities and other details thereof, the rights and remedies of the holders thereof, and the rights, powers, privileges, duties and obligations of the authority with respect to the bonds, shall be governed by the foregoing provisions of this chapter insofar as they are applicable.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1622; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5420. Status of bonds under Uniform Commercial Code

Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this chapter or any recitals in any bonds issued under this chapter, all such bonds shall be deemed to be investment securities under the Uniform Commercial Code as enacted in this Commonwealth, subject only to the provisions of the bonds pertaining to registration.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1623; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5421. Bonds as legal investments and lawful security

The bonds issued pursuant to this chapter shall be and are hereby declared to be legal and authorized investments for banks, savings institutions, trust companies, building and loan associations, insurance companies, fiduciaries, trustees, and guardians and for all public funds of the Commonwealth or other political corporations or subdivisions of the Commonwealth. Such bonds shall be eligible to secure the deposit of any and all public funds of the Commonwealth and any and all public funds of localities, school districts or other political corporations or subdivisions of the Commonwealth, and such bonds shall be lawful and sufficient security for such deposits to the extent of their value when accompanied by all unmatured coupons appertaining thereto.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1624; 1996, c. 77; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5422. Bonds exempt from taxation

Bonds, their transfer and the income therefrom, including any profit made on the sale thereof, shall at all times be exempt from all taxation by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, except inheritance or gift taxes.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1625; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5423. Payments in lieu of property taxes; license tax

A project owned by an authority shall be exempt from property taxes. However, an authority, other than an authority created by a governmental unit exempt from the referendum requirement of § 15.2-5403, owning a project shall, in lieu of property taxes, pay to any governmental body authorized to levy property taxes, the amount which would be assessed as taxes on real and personal property of a project if such project were otherwise subject to valuation and assessment by the State Corporation Commission, in the same manner as are public utility companies. Such payments in lieu of taxes shall be due and shall bear interest, if unpaid, as in the cases of taxes on other property. Authorities, other than an authority created by a governmental unit exempt from the referendum requirement of § 15.2-5403, shall pay the annual state license tax imposed by § 58.1-2626, or an equal amount in lieu of such tax, to the same extent as if § 58.1-2626 were by its terms expressly applicable to authorities. Payments in lieu of taxes made hereunder shall be treated in the same manner as taxes for purposes of all procedural and substantive provisions of law. The retail sales of an authority created by a governmental unit exempt from the referendum requirement of § 15.2-5403 shall be subject to the taxes imposed under § 58.1-2900. Except as herein expressly provided with respect to projects owned by an authority, no other property of such authority used or useful in the generation, transmission, transformation, and distribution of electric power and energy shall be subject to payment in lieu of taxes.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1626; 1997, c. 587; 2006, cc. 929, 941.

§ 15.2-5423.1. Exemption from taxation for certain authorities

An authority created by a governmental unit exempt from the referendum requirement of § 15.2-5403 is hereby declared to be performing a public function on behalf of the governmental unit that is the sole member of such authority with respect to which the authority is created and to be a public instrumentality of such governmental unit. Accordingly, an authority created by a governmental unit exempt from the referendum requirement of § 15.2-5403 shall be exempt from state and local taxation to the same extent that the governmental unit that is the sole member of such authority is exempt from such taxation.

2006, cc. 929, 941.

§ 15.2-5424. Transfer, etc., of property of political subdivisions upon request of authority

The governing body of any political subdivision, notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, is hereby authorized to transfer jurisdiction over, to permit the use of, lease, lend, grant or convey to the authority upon the request of the authority, upon such terms and conditions as the governing body of such subdivision may agree with the authority as reasonable and fair, such real or personal property as may be necessary or desirable in connection with the acquisition, construction, improvement, operation or maintenance of any project by the authority, including public roads and other property already donated to public use. However, the authority must pay full market value for any such real or personal property conveyed by the governing body of any political subdivision to the authority. Whenever any railroad tracks, pipes, poles, wires, conduits or other structures or facilities which are located in, along, across, over or under any public road, street, highway, alley or other public right-of-way shall become an obstruction to, interfere with or be endangered by the construction, operation or maintenance of any project of the authority, the political subdivision having ownership, control or jurisdiction over such public road, street, highway, alley or other public right-of-way may, as the exercise of an essential governmental function, order the safeguarding, maintaining, relocating, rebuilding, removing and replacing of such railroad tracks, pipes, poles, wires, conduits or other structures or facilities by the owner thereof at the expense of the authority, and subject to the provisions of § 25.1-102.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1627; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5425. Eminent domain

An authority created under the provisions of this chapter is hereby vested with the power of eminent domain and the same authority to exercise the power of eminent domain as is granted in Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1 and as is granted in Chapter 3 (§ 25.1-300 et seq.) of Title 25.1, subject to the provisions of § 25.1-102, provided that this power shall not be used to acquire existing power supply facilities or plants held for future use. Furthermore, no authority may condemn property outside of the territorial limits of its member governmental units without obtaining the consent of the governing body of the locality in which such property is located; however, in any case in which the approval by such locality is withheld, the authority seeking such approval may petition for the convening of a special court, pursuant to §§ 15.2-2135 through 15.2-2141.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1628; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-5426. Annual reports

Each authority, promptly following the close of the calendar year, shall submit an annual report of its activities for the preceding year to the governing body of its member governmental unit. Each such report shall set forth a complete operating and financial statement covering the operation of the authority during such year. The authority shall cause an audit of its books and accounts to be made at least once each year by a certified public accountant, and the cost thereof may be treated as part of the cost of a project, or otherwise as part of the expense of operation of the project by such audit.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1629; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5427. Liability of members or officers

No member of any authority or officer of any governing body of any member governmental unit creating such authority, or person or persons acting in their behalf, while acting within the scope of their authority shall be subject to any personal liability by reason of his carrying out of any of the powers expressly given in this chapter.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1630; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5428. Dissolution of authority

Whenever the board of directors of an authority and its member governmental units determines that the purposes for which it was created have been substantially fulfilled or are impractical or impossible to accomplish and that all bonds theretofore issued and all other obligations theretofore incurred by the authority have been paid or that cash or a sufficient amount of United States government securities has been deposited for their payment, the board of directors of the authority and the governing bodies of the member governmental units may adopt resolutions or ordinances declaring and finding that the authority should be dissolved, and that appropriate articles of dissolution shall be filed with the State Corporation Commission. Upon the filing of such articles of dissolution by the authority, such dissolution shall become effective, and the title to all funds and other property owned by the authority at the time of such filing shall vest in the member governmental units of the authority.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1631; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5429. Legislative consent to application of laws of other states

Legislative consent is hereby given (i) to the application of the laws of other states with respect to taxation, payments in lieu of taxes, and the assessment thereof, to any authority created pursuant to this chapter, which has acquired or has an interest in a project, real or personal, situated outside the Commonwealth or which owns or operates a project outside the Commonwealth pursuant to this chapter and (ii) to the application of regulatory and other laws of other states and of the United States to any authority which owns or operates a project outside the Commonwealth.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1632; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5430. Provisions of chapter cumulative; construction

Neither this chapter nor anything herein contained shall be construed as a restriction or limitation upon any powers which an authority or governmental unit acting under the provisions of this chapter might otherwise have under any laws of this Commonwealth, but shall be construed as cumulative of any such powers. This chapter shall be construed as complete and independent authority for the performance of each and every act and thing authorized by this chapter. No proceedings, notice or approval shall be required for the organization of an authority or the issuance of any bonds or any instrument as security therefor, except as herein provided, any other law to the contrary notwithstanding. However, nothing herein shall be construed to deprive the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions of their respective police powers over properties of an authority or to impair any power thereover of any official or agency of the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions which may be otherwise provided by law. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be deemed to authorize an authority to occupy or use any land, streets, buildings, structures or other property of any kind, owned or used by any political subdivision within its jurisdiction, or any public improvement or facility maintained by such political subdivision for the use of its inhabitants, without first obtaining the consent of the governing body thereof.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1633; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5431. Provisions of chapter controlling over other statutes and charters

Any provision of this chapter which is found to be in conflict with any other statute or charter shall be controlling and shall supersede such other statute or charter to the extent of such conflict.

1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1634; 1997, c. 587; 2015, c. 709.