Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 56. Public Service Companies
Chapter 23. Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act
3/4/2021

§ 56-594.02. Solar-powered or wind-powered electricity generation; power purchase agreements; pilot programs.

A. The Commission shall conduct pilot programs under which a person that owns or operates a solar-powered or wind-powered electricity generation facility located on premises owned or leased by an eligible customer-generator, as defined in § 56-594, shall be permitted to sell the electricity generated from such facility exclusively to such eligible customer-generator under a power purchase agreement used to provide third party financing of the costs of such a renewable generation facility (third party power purchase agreement), subject to the following terms, conditions, and restrictions:

1. Notwithstanding subsection G of § 56-580 or any other provision of law, a pilot program shall be conducted within the certificated service territory of each investor-owned electric utility ("Pilot Utility");

2. (Effective until July 1, 2022) The aggregated capacity of all generation facilities that are subject to such third party power purchase agreements at any time during the pilot program shall not exceed 500 megawatts for Virginia jurisdictional customers and 500 megawatts for Virginia nonjurisdictional customers for an investor-owned utility that was bound by a rate case settlement adopted by the Commission that extended in its application beyond January 1, 2002, or 40 megawatts for an investor-owned utility that was not bound by a rate case settlement adopted by the Commission that extended in its application beyond January 1, 2002. Such limitation on the aggregated capacity of such facilities shall constitute a portion of the existing limit of six percent of each Pilot Utility's adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year that is available to eligible customer-generators pursuant to subsection E of § 56-594. Notwithstanding any provision of this section that incorporates provisions of § 56-594, the seller and the customer shall elect either to (i) enter into their third party power purchase agreement subject to the conditions and provisions of the Pilot Utility's net energy metering program under § 56-594 or (ii) provide that electricity generated from the generation facilities subject to the third party power purchase agreement will not be net metered under § 56-594, provided that an election not to net meter under § 56-594 shall not exempt the third party power purchase agreement and the parties thereto from the requirements of this section that incorporate provisions of § 56-594;

2. (Effective July 1, 2022) The aggregated capacity of all generation facilities that are subject to such third party power purchase agreements at any time during the pilot program shall not exceed 500 megawatts for Virginia jurisdictional customers and 500 megawatts for Virginia nonjurisdictional customers. Such limitation on the aggregated capacity of such facilities shall constitute a portion of the existing limit of six percent of each Pilot Utility's adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year that is available to eligible customer-generators pursuant to subsection E of § 56-594. Notwithstanding any provision of this section that incorporates provisions of § 56-594, the seller and the customer shall elect either to (i) enter into their third party power purchase agreement subject to the conditions and provisions of the Pilot Utility's net energy metering program under § 56-594 or (ii) provide that electricity generated from the generation facilities subject to the third party power purchase agreement will not be net metered under § 56-594, provided that an election not to net meter under § 56-594 shall not exempt the third party power purchase agreement and the parties thereto from the requirements of this section that incorporate provisions of § 56-594;

3. A solar-powered or wind-powered generation facility with a capacity of no less than 50 kilowatts and no more than three megawatts shall be eligible for a third party power purchase agreement under a pilot program; however, if the customer under such agreement is a low-income utility customer, as defined in § 56-576, or is an entity with tax-exempt status in accordance with § 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, then such facility is eligible for the pilot program even if it does not meet the 50 kilowatts minimum size requirement. The maximum generation capacity of three megawatts shall not affect the limits on the capacity of electrical generating capacities of 25 kilowatts for residential customers and three megawatts for nonresidential customers set forth in subsection B of § 56-594, which limitations shall continue to apply to net energy metering generation facilities regardless of whether they are the subject of a third party power purchase agreement under the pilot program;

4. A generation facility that is the subject of a third party power purchase agreement under the pilot program shall serve only one customer, and a third party power purchase agreement shall not serve multiple customers;

5. The customer under a third party power purchase agreement under the pilot program shall be subject to the interconnection and other requirements imposed on eligible customer-generators pursuant to subsection C of § 56-594, including the requirement that the customer bear the reasonable costs, as determined by the Commission, of the items described in clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) of such subsection;

6. A third party power purchase agreement under the pilot program shall not be valid unless it conforms in all respects to the requirements of the pilot program conducted under the provisions of this section and unless the Commission and the Pilot Utility are provided written notice of the parties' intent to enter into a third party power purchase agreement not less than 30 days prior to the agreement's proposed effective date; and

7. An affiliate of the Pilot Utility shall be permitted to offer and enter into third party power purchase arrangements on the same basis as may any other person that satisfies the requirements of being a seller under a third party power purchase agreement under the pilot program.

B. The Commission shall review the pilot program established pursuant to subsection A in 2015 and every two years thereafter during the pilot program. In its review, the Commission shall determine whether the limitations in subdivisions A 2 and 3 should be expanded, reduced, or continued.

C. Any third party power purchase agreement that is not entered into pursuant to the pilot program established pursuant to subsection A is prohibited in the Pilot Utility's service territory, unless such third party power purchase agreement is entered into between a licensed supplier and a retail customer pursuant to § 56-577 where such supplier is responsible for serving 100 percent of the load requirements for each retail customer account it serves.

D. If the Commission approves a tariff proposed for electric power provided 100 percent from renewable energy that serves 100 percent of the load requirements for each retail customer account it serves under such tariff, hereafter referred to as a "green tariff," such a green tariff shall not be available to any party to a third party power purchase agreement for the account being served by such power purchase agreement, and such an agreement shall remain in effect notwithstanding the approval of the green tariff.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed as (i) rendering any person, by virtue of its selling electric power to an eligible customer-generator under a third party power purchase agreement entered into pursuant to the pilot program established under this section, a public utility or a competitive service provider, (ii) imposing a requirement that such a person meet 100 percent of the load requirements for each retail customer account it serves, or (iii) affecting third party power purchase agreements in effect prior to July 1, 2013.

F. Nothing in this section shall abridge any rights of either party to an agreement between a Pilot Utility and a group purchasing organization acting on behalf of Virginia local governments regarding the purchase of electric service.

G. The Commission shall, by December 1, 2013, establish guidelines concerning (i) information to be provided in notices required under subdivision A 6 and (ii) procedures for aggregating and posting to the Commission's web site information derived from the aforesaid notices, including total capacity utilized by pilot projects for which notice has been received and capacity remaining available for future pilot projects. In addition, the Commission may adopt such rules or establish such guidelines as may be necessary for its general administration of the pilot program established under this section.

2013 cc. 358, 382; 2017 c. 803; 2020, cc. 1187, 1188, 1189, 1193, 1194, 1239.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.