Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 15. Department of Environmental Quality
Chapter 100. Small Energy Storage Facilities Permit by Rule
7/24/2024

9VAC15-100-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Administratively complete application" means an application the department has determined meets the requirements of this chapter.

"Applicant" means the developer, owner, or operator that submits an application to the department for a permit by rule pursuant to this chapter.

"Archaeological field survey" means systematic identification-level archaeological investigations as described in DHR's guidelines for conducting historic resources surveys within the project area and submission of necessary documentation to DHR with recommendations on eligibility of identified resources for listing in the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places.

"Architectural field survey" means comprehensive, reconnaissance-level documentation as described in DHR's guidelines for conducting historic resources surveys of all standing buildings or structures 50 years of age or older within the project area and surrounding areas with a view to the facility and submission of necessary documentation to DHR with recommendations on eligibility of identified resources for listing in the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places.

"Begin commercial operation" means to have begun to store and discharge electricity for sale to the grid. This does not include testing to ensure the facility will not cause a reliability problem for the electrical grid system.

"Begin construction" means a continuous program of construction or land-disturbing activity necessary to construct a small energy storage project.

"DACS" means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

"Department" or "DEQ" means the Department of Environmental Quality, the department's director or the director's designee.

"DCR" means the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

"DHR" means the Department of Historic Resources.

"Disturbance zone" means the area within the site directly impacted by land-disturbing activity, including construction and operation of the small energy storage facility and 100 feet from the boundary of the directly impacted area. A facility located within an urban area, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, provided it is not a hybrid facility, will be subject to local government zoning requirements. Hybrid facilities will be subject to the requirements of any other small renewable energy project permit by rule regulation that is applicable.

"Document certification" means the statement as prescribed in 9VAC15-100-30 B 2 a, signed by the responsible person and submitted with the application documents or any supplemental information submitted to the department for a PBR.

"DWR" means the Department of Wildlife Resources.

"Historic resource" means any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, object, or cultural landscape that is included or meets the criteria necessary for inclusion in the Virginia Landmarks Register pursuant to the authorities of § 10.1-2205 of the Code of Virginia and in accordance with 17VAC5-30-40 through 17VAC5-30-70.

"Hybrid renewable energy and storage facility" or " hybrid facility" means a small energy storage facility and an electrical generation facility that is one of the following: (i) an electrical generation facility with a rated power capacity not exceeding 150 MW in alternating current (AC) that generates electricity only from sunlight or wind with an energy storage facility with a rated power capacity that does not exceed 150 MW in AC; (ii) an electrical generation facility with a rated power capacity not exceeding 100 MW in AC that generates electricity only from falling water, wave motion, tides, or geothermal power with an energy storage facility with a rated power capacity that does not exceed 100MW in AC; or (iii) an electrical generation facility with a rated power capacity not exceeding 20 MW in AC that generates electricity only from biomass, energy from waste, or municipal solid waste with an energy storage facility with a rated power capacity that does not exceed 20 MW in AC.

"Interconnection point" means the point where the small renewable energy project connects to a project substation for transmission to the electrical grid.

"Land disturbance" or "land-disturbing activity" means a man-made change to the land surface that potentially changes the land surface's runoff characteristics, including clearing, grading, or excavation, except that the term shall not include those exemptions specified in § 62.1-44.15:34 of the Code of Virginia.

"Megawatt" or "MW" means a measurement of power; 1,000 kilowatts equals one MW.

"Natural heritage resource" means the habitat of rare, threatened, or endangered plant and animal species, rare or state significant natural communities or geologic sites, and similar features of scientific interest benefiting the welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

"Notice of Intent" or "NOI" means notification, in a manner acceptable to the department, by an applicant stating intent to submit documentation for a permit under this chapter.

"Operator" means the person responsible for the overall operation and management of a small energy storage facility.

"Owner" means the person that owns all, a portion of, or has all or a controlling interest in a small energy storage facility.

"Permit by rule," "PBR," or "permit" means provisions of the regulation stating that a project or activity is deemed to have a permit if it meets the requirements of the provision.

"Person" means any individual, partnership, firm, association, joint venture, public or private corporation, trust, estate, commission, board, public or private institution, utility, cooperative, county, city, town, or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth, any interstate body, or any other legal entity.

"Preconstruction" means any time prior to beginning land-disturbing activities necessary for the installation of energy generating or energy storage structures at the facility.

"Previously disturbed or repurposed area" means the land area within the property boundary of industrial or commercial properties, including brownfields, or previously mined areas. It does not include active or fallow agricultural land or silvicultural land use.

"Project" refers to all aspects of small energy storage facility development, including planning, permitting, construction and commissioning.

"Rated power capacity" means the maximum amount of stored energy of the energy storage system in kilowatt-hours or megawatt-hours that can be delivered to the grid.

"Responsible person" means:

1. For a corporation or limited liability company, a president, secretary, treasurer, or vice-president in charge of a principal business function, or any other person who performs similar policy or decision-making functions for the corporation or limited liability company or is subject to Title 13.1 of the Code of Virginia;

2. For partnership or sole proprietorship, a general partner or the proprietor, respectively; and

3. For a local government entity subject to Title 15.2 of the Code of Virginia or state, federal, or other public agency, either a principal executive officer or ranking elected official.

"Retrofit" means the addition of an energy storage facility to an existing, permitted small renewable energy project.

"Site" means the area of a project that is under common ownership or operating control. Electrical infrastructure and other appurtenant structures up to the interconnection point shall be considered to be within the site.

"Small energy storage facility" or "facility" means an energy storage facility that uses electrochemical cells to convert chemical energy with a rated power capacity not exceeding 150 MW in AC.

"Small renewable energy project" means (i) an electrical generation facility with a rated power capacity not exceeding 150 MW that generates electricity only from sunlight or wind; (ii) an electrical generation facility with a rated capacity not exceeding 100 MW that generates electricity only from falling water, wave motion, tides, or geothermal power; (iii) an electrical generation facility with a rated power capacity not exceeding 20 MW that generates electricity only from biomass, energy from waste, or municipal solid waste; (iv) an energy storage facility that uses electrochemical cells to convert chemical energy with a rated power capacity not exceeding 150 MW; or (v) a hybrid project composed of an electrical generation facility that meets the parameters established in subdivision (i), (ii), or (iii) of this definition and an energy storage facility that meets the parameters established in subdivision (iv) of this definition.

"Threatened and endangered," "T&E," "state threatened or endangered species," or "state-listed species" means (i) any wildlife species designated as a Virginia endangered or threatened species by DWR pursuant to the §§ 29.1-563 through 29.1-570 of the Code of Virginia and 4VAC15-20-130 or (ii) any species designated as a Virginia endangered or threatened species by DACS pursuant to §§ 3.2-1000-through 3.2-1100 of the Code of Virginia and 2VAC5-320-10.

"Virginia Natural Landscape Assessment Ecological Cores" means large patches of natural land with at least 100 contiguous acres of interior, which begins 100 meters inward from the nearest edge between natural and unnatural land covers identified by DCR.

"VLR" means the Virginia Landmarks Register.

"VLR-eligible" means those historic resources that meet the criteria necessary for inclusion on the VLR pursuant to 17VAC5-30-40 through 17VAC5-30-70 but are not listed in VLR.

"VLR-listed" means those historic resources that have been listed in the VLR in accordance with the criteria of 17VAC5-30-40 through 17VAC5-30-70.

"Wildlife" means wild animals; except, however, that T&E insect species shall be considered T&E wildlife.

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-1197.5 and 10.1-1197.6 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 38, Issue 11, eff. January 1, 2022.

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