Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities And Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 315. Regulations Governing Net Energy Metering

20VAC5-315-77. Rules governing PPA Providers and third-party partial requirements power purchase agreements in electric cooperative service territories.

20VAC5-315-77. Rules governing PPA providers and third-party partial requirements power purchase agreements in electric cooperative service territories.

A. The provisions of this section are promulgated pursuant to § 56-594.01 K and L of the Code of Virginia.

B. Pursuant to § 56-594.01 L of the Code of Virginia, the commission has no jurisdiction over civil contract disputes and claims for damages against PPA providers.

C. PPA providers shall only enter into third party partial requirements power purchase agreements with those retail customers and nonjurisdictional customers of the electric cooperative that are exempt from federal income taxation, unless otherwise permitted by § 56-585.4 of the Code of Virginia.

D. The commission's Division of Public Utility Regulation shall administer and maintain a registry of PPA providers eligible to offer third-party partial requirements power purchase agreements.

E. Prior to entering into a third-party partial requirements power purchase agreement with an eligible customer, a PPA provider shall submit a complete Form PPAR to the commission's Division of Public Utility Regulation and be listed on the registry of eligible PPA providers.

F. PPA provider registration shall be of two classes: residential and nonresidential. A PPA provider shall submit a Form PPAR for each class of customers it desires to serve.

G. The PPA provider shall submit a $250 registration fee payable to the State Corporation Commission. If the PPA provider intends to be registered to serve both residential and nonresidential customers, then a $500 registration fee shall be paid.

H. In addition to a completed Form PPAR, a PPA provider shall provide to the Division of Public Utility Regulation, contemporaneously with submitting Form PPAR, demonstration of its financial ability by providing one of the following:

1. Evidence of an investment-grade credit rating of BBB+ or higher;

2. Liquid assets of at least $150,000, as shown by the per books balance sheet, income statement, and statement of changes in financial position of the applicant or the entity responsible for the financing of the applicant, for the two most recent annual periods. Audited financial statements shall be provided, if available, including notes to the financial statements and auditor's letter. Published financial information that includes Securities and Exchange Commission forms 10K and 10Q shall be provided, if available; or

3. A continuous or renewable performance or surety bond, an irrevocable letter of credit, or an irrevocable guaranty from a creditworthy corporate parent of the applicant in a minimum amount of $50,000 in a form to be prescribed by the commission staff. A certified copy of the bond, letter of credit, or guaranty shall be provided to the Division of Public Utility Regulation simultaneously with the application.

I. Upon receipt of Form PPAR, which includes the certifications required by § 56-594.01 L 3 of the Code of Virginia, and the appropriate demonstration of financial ability pursuant to subsection H of this section, the Division of Public Utility Regulation staff shall review the application to ensure it is complete. Such review shall not take longer than 30 days from receipt of complete registration material. Upon completion of the review, the PPA provider shall be added to the registry. The commission staff shall not investigate the corporate structure, financing, bookkeeping, accounting practices, contracting practices, prices, or terms and conditions in a third-party partial requirements power purchase agreement.

J. PPA providers shall adhere to the following standards of conduct:

1. PPA providers offering solar third-party PPAs shall adhere to the Solar Energy Industry Association's Solar Business Code.

2. PPA providers offering wind third-party PPAs shall adhere to the Distributed Wind Energy Association's Code of Ethics.

3. PPA providers offering other types of third-party PPAs (falling water, biomass, waste energy, landfill gas, municipal solid waste, wave motion, tides, or geothermal power) shall adhere to the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.

4. PPA provider contracts shall include a conspicuous notice that the PPA provider adheres to the relevant standards of conduct and the PPA provider shall include a copy of or link to the standards of conduct on its website.

K. PPA providers shall have and include in customer contracts and on their Internet websites, a customer dispute resolution procedure.

L. Should the commission staff have reason to doubt the veracity of any certifications of the provider made as part of an application, or, in any other case, if extenuating or extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant a proceeding, the staff may initiate a formal proceeding by motion.

M. The commission's jurisdiction over PPA providers shall be limited to the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of complaints from any person as to the provider's adherence to a commission-approved standard of conduct, the behavior of a provider's employees, agents, representatives, or contractors, and the representations made to customers in reference to the provider's business as it relates to third-party partial power purchase agreements.

N. The commission's authority to impose remedies against PPA providers is limited to monetary penalties not to exceed $30,000 per PPA provider registration; orders for PPA providers to cease or desist from a certain practice, act, or omission; removal from the registry; and the issuance of orders to show cause.

O. No PPA provider shall, by virtue of that status alone, be considered a public utility or competitive service provider for purposes of Title 56 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-594 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 2020.

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