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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities And Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 335. Regulations Governing the Deployment of Energy Storage

20VAC5-335-80. Permitting of non-utility energy storage facilities.

A. Other than a Phase I or Phase II Utility, each person seeking to construct and operate an energy storage facility in the Commonwealth with an energy storage power rating of one megawatt or greater, either on a stand-alone basis or on an aggregated basis facilitated by an energy storage aggregator, shall either (i) obtain a permit from the commission pursuant to this section, or (ii) apply for and receive a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the commission pursuant to § 56-580 of the Code of Virginia for the energy storage facility, prior to commencing construction or operation. If such person applies for and receives a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the commission, a permit under this section shall not be required.

B. In evaluating a permit application, the commission shall make a determination for approval based upon a finding that the energy storage facility (i) will have no material adverse effect upon reliability of electric service provided by any regulated public utility; (ii) does not adversely impact any goal established by the Virginia Environmental Justice Act (§ 2.2-234 et seq. of the Code of Virginia); and (iii) is not otherwise contrary to the public interest.

C. Other than a Phase I or Phase II Utility, each person applying for a permit to construct and operate an energy storage facility with an energy storage power rating of one megawatt or greater shall file an application with the clerk of the commission. If the applicant becomes aware of any material changes to any information while the application is pending, the applicant shall inform the commission of such changes within 10 calendar days. Applications shall include the following information:

1. Legal name of the applicant as well as any trade name.

2. A description of the applicant's authorized business structure, identifying the state authorizing such structure and the associated date (e.g., if incorporated, the state and date of incorporation; if a limited liability company, the state issuing the certificate of organization and the date of issuance).

3. Name and business addresses of all principal corporate officers and directors, partners, and LLC members, as appropriate.

4. Financial information for the applicant or principal participant in the project. If the applicant or principal participant is a private entity, financial information should include an analysis of the entity's financial condition and audited financial statements for the two most recent fiscal years. If the applicant or principal participant is a public company, financial information should include a copy or a link to where a copy can be found on the internet of the entity's most recent stockholder report and most recent Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10 K. If such information is unavailable, provide evidence that applicant has the financial resources or access to capital necessary to complete the proposed project.

5. A discussion of the applicant's qualifications, including:

a. A summary of other projects developed and managed by the applicant. Include location, status, and operational history.

b. A description of any affiliation with an incumbent electric utility as defined in § 56-576 of the Code of Virginia.

c. A disclosure of any affiliate relationship with any other permit holder.

6. Specific information about the site for the proposed facility, including:

a. A written description of the location, including identification of the city or county in which the facility will be constructed. Such description should be suitable for newspaper publication and sufficiently identify any affected areas.

b. A description of the site and a topographical map depiction of the proposed site.

c. The status of site acquisition (e.g., purchase option, ownership).

d. A description of any applicable local zoning or land use approvals required and the status of such approvals.

7. Specific information about the proposed facility, including:

a. Description of all major systems, including energy storage technology type and battery storage chemistry type, if applicable; intended uses; intended facility useful life; facility configuration; and expected suppliers of major components.

b. Energy storage power rating, energy capacity, and storage duration.

c. Estimated costs and schedule for construction, testing, and commercialization.

d. Site layouts that provide for integration of energy storage systems with adequate spacing and property setback requirements incorporated.

e. Codes and standards to which the proposed facility will be constructed.

f. Where applicable, the manner and location of the facility's interconnection to the transmission or distribution grid.

8. A general discussion of the selection process for the energy storage technology, including a description of any competitive procurement processes used.

9. A general discussion of economic development impacts of the project.

10. A list of other local, state, or federal government agencies whose requirements must be met in connection with the construction or operation of the project and a statement of the status of the approval procedures for each of these agencies.

11. An analysis of the environmental impact of the project. This analysis shall include the impacts on the environment and natural resources, analysis of alternatives considered, unavoidable adverse impacts, mitigation measures proposed to minimize unavoidable impacts, and any irreversible environmental changes. The information required by this subdivision shall be submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality, simultaneously with its filing with the commission, for coordination and review by state agencies responsible for environmental and natural resource protection. To the extent any of the following information is not applicable to a particular project or technology, the applicant shall indicate it is not applicable. The information shall identify:

a. Required air permits, expected restrictions, expected emissions, rates of emissions, and any needed emissions offsets or allowances.

b. Required permits for water withdrawals, expected restrictions, the amount of water estimated to be used, the source of such water, identification of a backup source of water, if any, and identification of any facilities that need to be constructed to provide such water.

c. Required permits for water discharge and potential impacts on regional water flows.

d. Required permits related to the wetlands and an identification of any tidal and nontidal wetlands located near the proposed site and how such wetlands will be impacted by applicant's proposed facility.

e. Impact of solid and hazardous wastes on local water resources.

f. Impact on natural heritage resources and on threatened and endangered species.

g. Erosion and sediment control measures.

h. Archaeological, historic, scenic, cultural, or architectural resources in the area.

i. Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas designated by the locality.

j. Wildlife resources.

k. Agricultural and forest resources and federal, local, state, or private parks and recreation areas.

l. Use of pesticides and herbicides.

m. Geology and mineral resources, caves, and sinkholes.

n. Transportation infrastructure.

12. An analysis of the social impact of the project, including a general discussion of why the facility will not have a disproportionate adverse impact on "historically economically disadvantaged communities" as defined in § 56-576 of the Code of Virginia.

13. A general discussion of how the project will promote environmental justice in environmental justice communities and fenceline communities consistent with the Virginia Environmental Justice Act (§ 2.2-234 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

14. A general discussion of reliability impacts, including:

a. A description of interconnection requirements and needed interconnection facilities. Any such facilities shall be depicted on a topographic map.

b. A description of the potential impact of the proposed facility on the interconnected system. Discussion should identify and summarize any system impact studies or proposed studies.

c. A description of anticipated services that may be provided to any transmission service provider or local distribution company, including associated costs and benefits.

d. A discussion of existing and expected generation reserves in the region and the impact of the proposed facility on such reserves.

15. A discussion of safety measures the applicant will implement, including fire and explosion protection, detection and mitigation measures, and an emergency response plan, as well as a discussion of whether such measures are compliant with all applicable codes and standards.

16. A discussion of the projected useful life of the energy storage facility, including known or projected performance degradation, roundtrip efficiency, and the proposed plan for and cost of decommissioning at the end of the facility's useful life.

17. A discussion of whether the proposed facility is not contrary to the public interest. The discussion shall include an analysis of any reasonably known impacts the proposed facility may have upon reliability of service to and rates paid by customers of any regulated public utility providing electric service in the Commonwealth.

Any application that fails to conform to the requirements shall be incomplete. No action shall be taken on any application until deemed complete and filed.

Upon receipt of a complete permit application pursuant to this section, the commission shall enter an order providing notice to appropriate persons and an opportunity to comment on the application. The commission shall issue a permit for construction and operation of the energy storage facility upon finding the applicant satisfies the requirements established by subsection B of this section.

D. Construction and operation of an energy storage facility in the Commonwealth with an energy storage power rating of less than one megawatt may be undertaken without complying with the filing requirements established by this section. Persons desiring to construct and operate such facilities shall (i) submit a letter stating the location, size, and technology of the energy storage facility to (a) the Director of the commission's Division of Public Utility Regulation and (b) the utility in whose certificated service territory the energy storage facility is located; and (ii) comply with all other requirements of federal, state, and local law.

E. In addition to the requirements of this section, each person seeking to operate an energy storage facility must complete either the interconnection process required by the commission's Regulations Governing Interconnection of Small Electrical Generators and Storage (20VAC5-314) or any federally approved interconnection process.

F. Within 30 days of any transfer or assignment of an energy storage facility for which a permit was granted by the commission, the permit holder shall notify the commission and the utility in whose certificated service territory the energy storage facility is located of such transfer or assignment. The notice shall include (i) the date of transfer or assignment; (ii) the information required in subdivisions C 1 through C 5 of this section for the new permit holder; and (iii) a declaration by the new permit holder that it agrees to abide by all initial and continuing requirements of the permit.

G. Any person receiving a permit to operate an energy storage facility in the Commonwealth pursuant to this section shall comply with all initial and continuing requirements of the commission's permitting process. Should the commission determine, upon complaint of any interested person or the Attorney General or upon staff motion or its own motion that a permitted operator of an energy storage facility has failed to comply with any of the requirements of this section or a commission order, the commission may, after providing due notice and an opportunity for a hearing, suspend or revoke the permit or take any other actions permitted by law or regulations as it may deem necessary to protect the public interest.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-585.5 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2021.

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