Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter .
9/25/2021

Chapter 17. Other Sources of Energy Generally; Energy Policy.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 45.2-1700. (Effective October 1, 2021) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Consortium" means the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium established pursuant to Article 5 (§ 45.2-1714 et seq.).

"Division" means the Division of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency of the Department of Energy.

"Plan" means the Virginia Energy Plan prepared pursuant to Article 4 (§ 45.2-1700 et seq.).

2006, c. 939, § 67-200; 2020, cc. 657, 658, 960; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 387, 532.

§ 45.2-1701. (Effective October 1, 2021) Division of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency established; powers and duties.

A. The Division of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency is established in the Department. The Director has the immediate authority to coordinate the development and implementation of energy policy in the Commonwealth.

B. The Division shall coordinate the energy-related activities of the various state agencies and advise the Governor on energy issues that arise at the local, state, and national levels. All state agencies and institutions shall cooperate fully with the Division to assist in the proper execution of the duties assigned by this section.

C. In addition, the Division is authorized to make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties or the execution of its powers, including the implementation of energy information and conservation plans and programs.

D. The Division shall:

1. Consult with state agencies and institutions concerning energy-related activities or policies as needed for the proper execution of the duties assigned to the Division by this section;

2. Serve as the Commonwealth's liaison with appropriate agencies of the federal government concerning the activities of the federal government related to energy production, consumption, and transportation and energy resource management in general;

3. Provide services to encourage efforts by and among businesses in the Commonwealth, industries, utilities, academic institutions, state and local governments, and private institutions to develop energy resources and energy conservation programs;

4. In consultation with the State Corporation Commission, the Department of Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, prepare the Virginia Energy Plan pursuant to § 45.2-1710; and

5. Observe the energy-related activities of state agencies and advise such agencies in order to encourage conformity with established energy policy.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-390; 2006, c. 939; 2016, c. 518; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 387, 532.

§ 45.2-1701.1. (Effective October 1, 2021) Public disclosure of certain electric generating facility closures.

A. The provisions of this section shall apply to any electric generating facility that:

1. Has a nameplate generating capacity of 80 megawatts or more;

2. Is located in the Commonwealth;

3. Emits carbon dioxide as a byproduct of combusting fuel, whether or not certificated by the State Corporation Commission pursuant to subsection D of § 56-580; and

4. Is subject to, and not exempt from, regulations adopted pursuant to subsection E of § 10.1-1308 or § 10.1-1330.

B. Within 30 days of an owner of an electric generating facility making public the decision to close such facility, or within 30 days of the owner of an electric generating facility making a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding a material impact to the cost, operations, or financial condition of the owner, which material impact is a direct precursor to the closure of the electric generating facility, the owner shall send a written notice of the impending closure to:

1. The governing body of the locality where the facility is located;

2. The governing body of any locality adjoining the locality where the facility is located;

3. Any town council located within a county described in subdivision 1;

4. Any planning district commission of any locality described in subdivision 1 or 2;

5. The State Corporation Commission Division of Public Utility Regulation;

6. The Department and the Division;

7. The Department of Housing and Community Development;

8. PJM Interconnection, LLC;

9. The Virginia Employment Commission;

10. The Department of Environmental Quality; and

11. The Virginia Council on Environmental Justice.

C. The notice required by subsection B shall include, at a minimum, (i) the anticipated closure date of the facility; (ii) references to any website maintained by the owner containing closure information; (iii) a list of permits obtained from a local government, the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board, or the Department of Environmental Quality, including the permit number and date of issuance; (iv) anticipated future use of the facility site, if known; (v) workforce transition assistance information; and (vi) decommissioning information. If the owner of the facility is a registrant with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, any filings mentioning the impending closure shall also be included with the notice.

D. In the six months following receipt of the notice required by subsection B, the governing body of the locality where the facility is located shall conduct at least three public hearings, which may be part of a regular meeting agenda, where at least one representative of the owner of the facility being closed shall be present, make a presentation regarding the impending closure, and take questions from the governing body and the public.

E. In the six months following receipt of the notice required by subsection B, the planning district commission of the locality where the facility is located shall conduct at least one public hearing, which may be part of a regular meeting agenda, where at least one representative of the owner of the facility being closed shall be present, make a presentation regarding the impending closure, and take questions from the planning district commission and the public.

F. The Division shall maintain a public website listing the facilities subject to this section and their anticipated closure dates, if such dates are reasonably known by virtue of the laws of the Commonwealth or a public record or filing with an agency of the Commonwealth, including the State Corporation Commission, and a link shall be provided to the facilities' environmental protection or remediation obligations included in permits obtained from the Department, State Air Pollution Control Board, State Water Control Board, Department of Environmental Quality, or local governing body. At least every 12 months, the State Corporation Commission shall transmit to the Division any information that it reasonably believes would necessitate updates to the anticipated closure dates or other information contained on the Division's website.

G. As providing advance notice to affected communities of an impending closure of a facility under this section is a matter of vital importance for public policy, this section shall be liberally construed. The obligations imposed on agencies of the Commonwealth under this section are to be construed in favor of public disclosure of the information required by subsection F.

H. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the provisions of this section shall not apply to any electric generating facility that has a nameplate generating capacity of 90 megawatts or less and that filed a deactivation notice with PJM Interconnection, LLC, prior to September 1, 2019.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 41, 42.

Article 2. Energy and Operational Efficiency Performance-Based Contracting Act.

§ 45.2-1702. (Effective October 1, 2021) Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Contracting entity" means any public body as defined in § 2.2-4301.

"Energy conservation measures" means the use of methods and techniques, the application of knowledge, or the installation of devices, including an alteration or betterment of an existing facility, that reduces energy consumption or operating costs and includes:

1. Insulation of the facility structure and systems within the facility.

2. Installation of storm windows and doors, caulking or weatherstripping, multiglazed windows and doors, heat-absorbing or heat-reflective glazed and coated window and door systems, or additional glazing; reductions in glass area; or the completion of other window and door system modifications that reduce energy consumption.

3. Installation of automatic energy control systems, including related software, or required network communication wiring, computer devices, wiring, and support services, or the design and implementation of major building technology infrastructure with operational improvements.

4. Modification or replacement of heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning systems.

5. Replacement or modification of lighting fixtures to increase the energy efficiency of the lighting system. Such replacement or modification shall, at a minimum, conform to the applicable provisions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.).

6. Installation of energy recovery systems.

7. Installation of cogeneration systems that produce, in addition to electricity, steam or another form of energy, such as heat, for use primarily within a facility or complex of facilities.

8. Installation of energy conservation measures that provide long-term operating cost reductions and significantly reduce the BTUs consumed.

9. Installation of building technology infrastructure measures that provide long-term operating cost reductions and reduce related operational costs.

10. Installation of an energy system, such as solar, biomass, or wind.

11. Installation of devices that reduce water consumption or sewer charges.

"Energy cost savings" means a measured reduction in fuel, energy, or operation and maintenance costs created from the implementation of one or more energy conservation measures when compared with an established baseline for previous fuel, energy, or operation and maintenance costs. When calculating "energy cost savings" attributable to the services performed or equipment installed pursuant to a performance-based efficiency contract, maintenance savings shall be included.

"Energy performance-based contract" means a contract for the evaluation, recommendation, and implementation of energy conservation measures that includes, at a minimum:

1. The design and installation of equipment to implement one or more such measures and, if applicable, the operation and maintenance of such measures.

2. The amount of any actual annual savings. Such amount shall meet or exceed the total annual contract payments made by the contracting entity for such contract.

3. The financing charges to be incurred by the contracting entity for such contract.

"Maintenance savings" means the operating expenses eliminated and future capital replacement expenditures avoided as a result of new equipment installed or services performed by the performance contractor.

"Performance guarantee bond" means the performance bond provided by the energy performance contractor for each year of the energy program in an amount equal to, but no greater than, the guaranteed measured and verifiable annual savings set forth in the program.

2001, c. 219, § 11-34.2; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1703. (Effective October 1, 2021) Energy performance-based contract procedures; required contract provisions.

A. Any contracting entity may enter into an energy performance-based contract with an energy performance contractor to significantly reduce (i) energy costs to a level established by the public body or (ii) operating costs of a facility through one or more energy conservation or operational efficiency measures. For the purposes of this article, energy conservation or operational efficiency measures shall not include roof replacement projects.

B. The energy performance contractor shall be selected through competitive sealed bidding or competitive negotiation as set forth in § 2.2-4302.1 or 2.2-4302.2. The evaluation of the request for proposals shall analyze the estimates of all costs of installation, maintenance, repairs, debt service, post-installation project monitoring, and reporting. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any contracting entity may purchase energy conservation or operational efficiency measures under an energy performance-based contract entered into by another contracting entity pursuant to this article even if it did not participate in the request for proposals if the request for proposals specified that the procurement was being conducted on behalf of other contracting entities.

C. Before entering into a contract for energy conservation measures, the contracting entity shall require the performance contractor to provide a payment and performance bond relating to the installation of energy conservation measures in an amount the contracting entity finds reasonable and necessary to protect its interests.

D. Prior to the design and installation of any energy conservation measures, the contracting entity shall obtain from the energy performance contractor a report disclosing all costs associated with such energy conservation measures and providing an estimate of the amount of the energy cost savings. After reviewing the report, the contracting entity may enter into an energy performance-based contract if it finds (i) the amount the entity would spend on the energy conservation measures recommended in the report will not exceed the amount to be saved in energy and operation costs more than 20 years from the date of installation, based on life-cycle costing calculations, if the recommendations in the report were followed and (ii) the energy performance contractor provides a written guarantee that the energy and operating cost savings will meet or exceed the costs of the system. The contract may provide for payments over a period not to exceed 20 years.

E. The term of any energy performance-based contract shall expire at the end of each fiscal year but may be renewed annually for up to 20 years, subject to the contracting entity making sufficient annual appropriations based upon continued realized cost savings. Such contract shall stipulate that the agreement does not constitute a debt, liability, or obligation of the contracting entity, or a pledge of the faith and credit of the contracting entity. Such contract may also provide capital contributions for the purchase and installation of energy conservation measures that cannot be totally funded by the energy and operational savings.

F. An energy performance-based contract shall include the following provisions:

1. A guarantee by the energy performance contractor that annual energy and operational cost savings will meet or exceed the amortized cost of energy conservation measures. The guaranteed energy savings contract shall include a written guarantee of the qualified provider that either the energy savings or operational cost savings, or both, will meet or exceed within 20 years the costs of the energy and operational savings measures. The qualified provider shall reimburse the contracting entity for any shortfall of guaranteed energy savings projected in the contract.

2. A requirement that the energy performance contractor to whom the contract is awarded provide a 100 percent performance guarantee bond to the contracting entity for the installation and faithful performance of the installed energy savings measures as outlined in the contract document.

3. A requirement that the energy performance contractor provide to the contracting entity an annual reconciliation of the guaranteed energy cost savings. The energy performance contractor shall be liable for any annual savings shortfall that may occur.

G. The Department shall make a reasonable effort, as long as workload permits, to:

1. Provide general advice, upon request, to local governments considering pursuit of an energy performance-based contract pursuant to this article; and

2. Annually compile a list of performance-based contracts entered into by local governments of which the Department becomes aware.

2001, c. 219, § 11-34.3; 2004, c. 197; 2009, c. 399; 2013, c. 583; 2017, c. 259; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1704. (Effective October 1, 2021) Application of article.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to any new construction project undertaken by a public body.

2001, c. 219, § 11-34.4; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Article 3. Energy Policy of the Commonwealth.

§ 45.2-1705. (Effective October 1, 2021) Legislative findings.

The General Assembly hereby finds that:

1. Energy is essential to the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the Commonwealth and to the Commonwealth's economy;

2. The government of the Commonwealth should facilitate the availability and delivery of reliable and adequate supplies of energy to industrial, commercial, and residential users at reasonable costs so that such users and the Commonwealth's economy are able to be productive;

3. The Commonwealth would benefit from articulating clear objectives pertaining to energy issues, adopting an energy policy that advances such objectives, and establishing a procedure for measuring the implementation of such policy;

4. Climate change is an urgent and pressing challenge for the Commonwealth. Swift decarbonization and a transition to clean energy are required to meet the urgency of the challenge; and

5. The Commonwealth will benefit from being a leader in deploying a low-carbon energy economy.

2006, c. 939, § 67-100; 2020, cc. 1191, 1192; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1706. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 327, cl. 2, effective July 1, 2021.

§ 45.2-1706.1. (Effective October 1, 2021) Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy.

A. The Commonwealth recognizes that effectively addressing climate change and enhancing resilience will advance the health, welfare, and safety of the residents of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth further recognizes that addressing climate change requires reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the Commonwealth's economy sufficient to reach net-zero emission by 2045 in all sectors, including the electric power, transportation, industrial, agricultural, building, and infrastructure sectors. To achieve these objectives, it shall be the policy of the Commonwealth to:

1. Develop energy resources necessary to produce 30 percent of Virginia's electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030 and 100 percent of Virginia's electricity from carbon-free sources by 2040;

2. Enable widespread integration of distributed energy resources, including energy storage and rooftop solar, into the grid to achieve decarbonization and to enhance resilience;

3. Support the distributed generation of renewable electricity by:

a. Encouraging private sector investments in distributed renewable energy;

b. Increasing the security of the electricity grid by supporting distributed renewable energy projects and energy storage with the potential to supply electric energy to critical facilities during a widespread power outage; and

c. Enhancing the ability of private property owners to generate their own renewable energy for their own personal use from renewable energy sources on their property;

4. Lead by example in state government by supporting the carbon-free energy resources required to fully decarbonize the electric power supply of the Commonwealth, including deploying 30 percent renewables by 2030, realizing 100 percent carbon-free electric power by 2040, and achieving net zero emissions by 2045;

5. Maximize energy efficiency programs as defined in § 56-576, to the extent determined to be in the public interest, that are the lowest-cost energy option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in order to produce electricity cost savings and to create jobs and economic opportunity from the energy efficiency sector;

6. Support net-zero emission targets by promoting zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure, including electrified transport, decreasing the carbon intensity of the transportation sector, encouraging alternative transportation options, and increasing the efficiency of motor vehicles operating on Virginia's roads;

7. Support electric distribution grid transformation projects as defined in § 56-576;

8. Promote building and construction practices that reduce emissions associated with built environment, including energy efficiency targets, new building standards, and transit-oriented and other sustainable development practices; and

9. Ensure that energy development projects avoid, minimize, and, if necessary, mitigate damage to the Commonwealth's natural and cultural resources.

B. The Commonwealth recognizes the need to promote environmental justice and ensure that it is carried out throughout the Commonwealth, as provided in § 2.2-235, and the need to address and prevent energy inequities in historically economically disadvantaged communities, as defined in § 56-576. To achieve these objectives, it shall be the policy of the Commonwealth to:

1. Recognize the disproportionate and inequitable impacts of climate change on historically economically disadvantaged communities and prioritize solutions and investment in these communities to maximize the benefits of clean energy and minimize the burdens of climate change;

2. Ensure the fair treatment and meaningful involvement, as those terms are defined in § 2.2-234, of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, faith, disability, or income with respect to the administration of energy laws, regulations, and policies; and

3. Increase access to clean energy and the benefits from clean energy to historically economically disadvantaged communities.

C. As Virginia transforms its energy economy, the Commonwealth must continue to prioritize economic competiveness and workforce development in an equitable manner. To achieve this objective, it shall be the policy of the Commonwealth to:

1. Equitably incorporate requirements for technical, policy, and economic analyses and assessments that recognize the unique attributes of different energy resources and delivery systems to identify pathways to net-zero carbon that maximize Virginia's energy reliability and resilience, economic development, and jobs;

2. Require that pathways to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions be determined on the basis of technical, policy, and economic analysis to maximize their effectiveness, optimize Virginia's economic development, support industrial employment, and create quality jobs while minimizing adverse impacts on public health, affected communities, and the environment;

3. Ensure an adequate energy supply and a Virginia-based energy production capacity, while also optimizing intrastate and interstate use of energy supply and delivery to maximize energy availability, reliability, and price opportunities to the benefit of all user classes and the Commonwealth's economy;

4. Increase wind energy development and grow the Commonwealth's role as a wind industry hub for offshore wind generation projects in state and federal waters off the United States coast;

5. Ensure the availability of reliable energy at costs that are reasonable and in quantities that will support the Commonwealth's economy;

6. Ensure reliable energy availability in the event of a disruption occurring to a portion of the Commonwealth's energy matrix and to address the needs of businesses during the transition to clean energy;

7. Minimize the Commonwealth's long-term exposure to volatility and increases in world energy prices by expanding the use of innovative clean energy technology within the Commonwealth;

8. Create training opportunities and green career pathways for local workers and workers in historically economically disadvantaged communities in onshore and offshore wind, solar energy, electrification, energy efficiency, clean transportation, and other emerging clean energy industries;

9. Support the repurposing and development of clean energy resources on previously developed project sites as defined in § 56-576;

10. Ensure that decision making is transparent and includes opportunities for full participation by the public;

11. Explore approaches to maximizing and leveraging the capacity of lands and waters in the Commonwealth to store energy; and

12. Increase the Commonwealth's reliance on and production of sustainably produced biofuels made from traditional agricultural crops and other feedstocks, such as winter cover crops, warm season grasses, fast-growing trees, algae, or other suitable feedstocks grown in the Commonwealth, that will (i) create jobs and income, (ii) produce clean-burning fuels that will help to improve air quality, and (iii) provide the new markets for Virginia's silvicultural and agricultural products needed to preserve farm employment, conserve farmland and forestland, and increase implementation of silvicultural and agricultural best management practices to protect water quality.

D. The elements of the policy set forth in subsections A, B, and C shall be referred to collectively in this title as the Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy.

E. All agencies and political subdivisions of the Commonwealth, in taking discretionary action with regard to energy issues, shall recognize the elements of the Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy and, where appropriate, shall act in a manner consistent therewith.

F. The Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy is intended to provide guidance to the agencies and political subdivisions of the Commonwealth in taking discretionary action with regard to energy issues and shall not be construed to amend, repeal, or override any contrary provision of applicable law. Nothing in this section shall preclude reliable access to electricity and natural gas during the transition to renewable energy. The failure or refusal of any person to recognize the elements of the Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy, to act in a manner consistent with the Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy, or to take any other action whatsoever shall not create any right, action, or cause of action or provide standing for any person to challenge the action of the Commonwealth or any of its agencies or political subdivisions.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 326, 327.

§ 45.2-1707. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 327, cl. 2, effective July 1, 2021.

§ 45.2-1708. (Effective October 1, 2021) Role of local governments in achieving objectives of the Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy.

A. In the development of any local ordinance addressing the siting of renewable energy facilities that generate electricity from wind or solar resources, such ordinance shall:

1. Be consistent with the provisions of the Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy pursuant to subsection E of § 45.2-1706.1;

2. Provide reasonable criteria to be addressed in the siting of any renewable energy facility that generates electricity from wind or solar resources. Such criteria shall provide for the protection of the locality in a manner consistent with the goals of the Commonwealth to promote the generation of energy from wind and solar resources; and

3. Include provisions establishing reasonable requirements upon the siting of any such renewable energy facility, including provisions limiting noise, requiring buffer areas and setbacks, and addressing generation facility decommissioning.

B. Any measures required by an ordinance adopted pursuant to subsection A shall be consistent with the locality's existing ordinances.

2011, c. 750, § 67-103; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 327, 387.

§ 45.2-1709. (Effective October 1, 2021) Nuclear energy; considered a clean energy source.

For the purposes of the Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy as set out in § 45.2-1706.1, in any clean energy initiative or carbon-free energy initiative undertaken, overseen, regulated, or permitted by the Department, nuclear energy shall be considered to be a clean energy source.

2020, c. 960, § 67-104; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 327, 387.

Article 4. Virginia Energy Plan.

§ 45.2-1710. (Effective October 1, 2021) Development of the Virginia Energy Plan.

A. The Division, in consultation with the State Corporation Commission, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Clean Energy Advisory Board, the solar, wind, energy efficiency, and transportation electrification sectors, and a stakeholder group that includes representatives of consumer, environmental, manufacturing, forestry, and agricultural organizations and natural gas and electric utilities, shall prepare a comprehensive Virginia Energy Plan (the Plan) that identifies actions over a 10-year period consistent with the goal of the Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy set forth in § 45.2-1706.1 to achieve, no later than 2045, a net-zero carbon energy economy for all sectors, including the electricity, transportation, building, agricultural, and industrial sectors. The Plan shall propose actions, consistent with the objectives enumerated in § 45.2-1706.1, that will implement the Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy set forth in § 45.2-1706.1.

B. In addition, the Plan shall include:

1. Projections of energy consumption in the Commonwealth, including the use of fuel sources and costs of electricity, natural gas, gasoline, coal, renewable resources, and other forms of non-greenhouse-gas-generating energy resources, such as nuclear power, used in the Commonwealth;

2. An analysis of the adequacy of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution resources in the Commonwealth for the natural gas and electric industries, and how distributed energy resources and regional generation, transmission, and distribution resources affect the Commonwealth;

3. An analysis of siting requirements for electric generation resources and natural gas and electric transmission and distribution resources, including an assessment of state and local impediments to expanded use of distributed resources and recommendations to reduce or eliminate such impediments;

4. An analysis of fuel diversity for electricity generation, recognizing the importance of flexibility in meeting future capacity needs;

5. An analysis of the efficient use of energy resources and conservation initiatives;

6. An analysis of how such Virginia-specific issues relate to regional initiatives to ensure the adequacy of fuel production, generation, transmission, and distribution assets;

7. An analysis of the siting of energy resource development, refining, and transmission facilities to identify any disproportionate adverse impact of such activities on economically disadvantaged or minority communities;

8. With regard to any regulations proposed or adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric generating units under § 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7411(d), an analysis of (i) the costs to and benefits for energy producers and electric utility customers, (ii) the effect on energy markets and reliability, and (iii) the commercial availability of technology required to comply with such regulations;

9. An inventory of greenhouse gas emissions compiled using a method determined by the Department of Environmental Quality for the four years prior to the issuance of the Plan;

10. Data regarding the number and type of electric and hybrid electric vehicles currently registered in the Commonwealth; projections of future electric vehicle sales across all vehicle classes, taking into consideration the impact of current and potential statewide policies; and analysis of the impact that the growth of electrified transit on the Commonwealth's electric system;

11. An analysis of the Commonwealth's current electric vehicle charging infrastructure and all future infrastructure needed to support the 2045 net-zero carbon target in the transportation sector, including chargers, make-ready electrical equipment, and supporting hardware and software needed to support the electrification of all vehicle categories used on and off roads and highways, including light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty vehicles and electric bicycles, as well as that needed to electrify ground transportation at all ports and airports, with particular attention to the needs of historically economically disadvantaged communities as defined in § 56-576 and any state or local impediments to deployment; and

12. Recommendations, based on the analyses completed under subdivisions 1 through 11, for legislative, regulatory, and other public and private actions to implement the elements of the Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy.

C. In preparing the Plan, the Division and other agencies involved in the planning process shall utilize state geographic information systems, to the extent deemed practicable, to assess how recommendations in the Plan may affect pristine natural areas and other significant onshore natural resources. Effective October 1, 2024, interim updates on the Plan shall also contain projections for greenhouse gas emissions that would result from implementation of the Plan's recommendations.

D. In preparing the Plan, the Division and other agencies involved in the planning process shall develop a system for assigning numerical scores to any parcel of real property based on the extent to which such parcel is suitable for the siting of a wind energy facility or solar energy facility. For a wind energy facility, the scoring system shall address the wind velocity, sustained velocity, and turbulence. For either a wind energy facility or a solar energy facility, the scoring system shall address the parcel's proximity to electric power transmission lines or systems, potential impacts of such a facility to natural and historic resources and to economically disadvantaged or minority communities, and compatibility with the local land use plan. The system developed pursuant to this section shall allow the suitability of the parcel for the siting of a wind energy or solar energy facility to be compared to the suitability of other parcels so scored, and shall be based on a scale that allows the suitability of the parcel for the siting of such a facility to be measured against the hypothetical score of an ideal location for such a facility.

E. Upon receipt by the Division of a recommendation from the Department of General Services, a local governing body, or the parcel's owner stating that a parcel of real property is a potentially suitable location for a wind energy facility or solar energy facility, the Division shall analyze the suitability of the parcel for the location of such a facility. In conducting its analysis, the Division shall ascribe a numerical score to the parcel using the scoring system developed pursuant to subsection D.

2006, c. 939, § 67-201; 2014, cc. 603, 756; 2020, cc. 1191, 1192; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 326, 327, 387.

§ 45.2-1711. (Effective October 1, 2021) Schedule for the Plan.

A. The Division shall complete the Plan.

B. Prior to the completion of the Plan and each update thereof, the Division shall present drafts to, and consult with, the Virginia Coal and Energy Commission established pursuant to Chapter 25 (§ 30-188 et seq.) of Title 30 and the Commission on Electric Utility Regulation established pursuant to Chapter 31 (§ 30-201 et seq.) of Title 30.

C. The Plan shall be updated by the Division and submitted as provided in § 45.2-1713 by October 1, 2014, and every fourth October 1 thereafter. In addition, the Division shall provide interim updates on the Plan by October 1 of the third year of each Governor's administration. Updated reports shall specify any progress attained toward each proposed action of the Plan, as well as reassess goals for energy conservation on the basis of progress to date in meeting the goals in the previous Plan and lessons learned from attempts to meet such goals.

D. Beginning with the Plan update in 2014, the Division shall include a section setting forth energy policy positions relevant to any potential regulations proposed or promulgated by the State Air Pollution Control Board to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric generating units under § 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7411(d). In such section of the Plan, the Division shall address policy options for establishing separate standards of performance pursuant to § 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7411(d), for carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units to promote the Plan's overall goal of fuel diversity as follows:

1. The Plan shall address policy options for establishing the standards of performance for existing coal-fired electric generating units, including the following factors:

a. The most suitable system of emission reduction that (i) takes into consideration (a) the cost and benefit of achieving such reduction, (b) any non-air quality health and environmental impacts, and (c) the energy requirements of the Commonwealth and (ii) has been adequately demonstrated for coal-fired electric generating units that are subject to the standard of performance;

b. Reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide that can be achieved through measures reasonably undertaken at each coal-fired electric generating unit; and

c. Increased efficiencies and other measures that can be implemented at each coal-fired electric generating unit to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the unit without converting from coal to other fuels, co-firing other fuels with coal, or limiting the utilization of the unit.

2. The Plan shall also address policy options for establishing the standards of performance for existing gas-fired electric generating units, including the following factors:

a. The application of the criteria specified in subdivisions 1 a and b to natural gas-fired electric generating units instead of to coal-fired electric generating units; and

b. Increased efficiencies and other measures that can be reasonably implemented at the unit to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the unit without switching from natural gas to other lower-carbon fuels or limiting the utilization of the unit.

3. The Plan shall examine policy options for state regulatory action to adopt less stringent standards or longer compliance schedules than those provided for in applicable federal rules or guidelines based on analysis of the following:

a. Consumer impacts, including any disproportionate impacts of energy price increases on lower-income populations;

b. Unreasonable cost of reducing emissions resulting from plant age, location, or basic process design;

c. Physical difficulties with or impossibility of implementing emission reduction measures;

d. The absolute cost of applying the performance standard to the unit;

e. The expected remaining useful life of the unit;

f. The economic impacts of closing the unit, including expected job losses, if the unit is unable to comply with the performance standard; and

g. Any other factors specific to the unit that make application of a less stringent standard or longer compliance schedule more reasonable.

4. The Plan shall identify options, to the maximum extent permissible, for any federally required regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units and regulatory mechanisms that provide flexibility in complying with such standards, including the averaging of emissions, emissions trading, or other alternative implementation measures that are determined to further the interests of the Commonwealth and its citizens.

2006, c. 939, § 67-202; 2008, cc. 651, 883; 2014, cc. 161, 419, 603, 756; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 326, 387.

§ 45.2-1712. (Effective October 1, 2021) Annual reporting by investor-owned public utilities.

Each investor-owned public utility providing electric service in the Commonwealth shall prepare an annual report disclosing its efforts to conserve energy, including (i) its implementation of customer demand-side management programs and (ii) efforts by the utility to improve efficiency and conserve energy in its internal operations pursuant to § 56-235.1. The utility shall submit each annual report to the Division by November 1 of each year, and the Division shall compile the reports of the utilities and submit the compilation to the Governor and the General Assembly as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents.

2008, c. 651, § 67-202.1; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1713. (Effective October 1, 2021) Submission of the Plan.

Upon completion, the Division shall submit the Plan, including periodic updates thereto, to the Governor, the Commissioners of the State Corporation Commission, and the General Assembly. The Plan shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents. The Plan's executive summary shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

2006, c. 939, § 67-203; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Article 5. Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium.

§ 45.2-1714. (Effective October 1, 2021) Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium established; board of directors.

A. The Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium is hereby established to include Old Dominion University, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science of The College of William and Mary in Virginia, the Advanced Research Institute of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, James Madison University, Norfolk State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Hampton University, George Mason University, and the University of Virginia and is to be located at Old Dominion University.

B. The Consortium shall be governed by a board of directors (the Board), which shall consist of 16 voting members as follows: the Director or his designee, the Commissioner of Marine Resources or his designee, the President of the Virginia Manufacturers Association or his appointed member of the maritime manufacturing industry, the President of the Virginia Maritime Association or his appointed member of the maritime industry, the Director of the Advanced Research Institute of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University or his designee, the President of Old Dominion University or his designee, the Director of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science of The College of William and Mary in Virginia or his designee, the President of Norfolk State University or his designee, the President of James Madison University or his designee, the President of Virginia Commonwealth University or his designee, the President of the University of Virginia or his designee, the President of Hampton University or his designee, the President of George Mason University or his designee, the chairman of the Hampton Roads Technology Council or his appointed member of the technology community, the Director of the Hampton Roads Clean Cities Coalition or his appointed member of the renewable energy industry, and the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality or his designee as the lead agency for the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program.

In addition, a representative of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Langley Research Center, to be selected by the Director of the Research Center, shall serve as a nonvoting ex officio member of the Board.

2006, c. 939, §§ 67-600, 67-602; 2007, c. 904; 2009, c. 575; 2010, c. 695; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1715. (Effective October 1, 2021) Functions, powers, and duties of the Consortium.

The Consortium shall serve as an interdisciplinary study, research, and information resource for the Commonwealth on coastal energy issues. As used in this article, "coastal energy" includes wave or tidal action, currents, offshore winds, thermal differences, and methane hydrates. The Consortium shall (i) consult with the General Assembly, federal, state, and local agencies, nonprofit organizations, private industry, and other potential users of coastal energy research; (ii) establish and administer agreements with other baccalaureate institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth to carry out research projects relating to the feasibility of increasing the Commonwealth's reliance on all domestic forms of coastal energy; (iii) disseminate new information and research results; (iv) apply for grants made available pursuant to federal legislation, including the federal Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000, P.L. 106-193, and from other sources; and (v) facilitate the application and transfer of new coastal energy technologies.

2006, c. 939, § 67-601; 2009, c. 575; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1716. (Effective October 1, 2021) Appointment of a director; powers and duties.

A. The Board shall appoint an executive director to serve as the principal administrative officer of the Consortium. The executive director shall report to the Board and be under its supervision.

B. The executive director shall exercise all powers imposed upon him by law, carry out the specific duties imposed upon him by the Board, and develop appropriate policies and procedures for (i) identifying priority coastal energy research projects; (ii) cooperating with the General Assembly, federal, state, and local governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private industry in formulating its research projects; (iii) selecting research projects to be funded; and (iv) disseminating information and transferring technology related to coastal energy within the Commonwealth. The executive director shall employ such personnel and secure such services as may be required to carry out the purposes of the Consortium, expend appropriated funds, and accept moneys from federal or private sources for cost-sharing on coastal energy projects.

2006, c. 939, §§ 67-603, 67-604; 2009, c. 575; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Article 6. Southwest Virginia Energy Research and Development Authority.

§ 45.2-1717. (Effective October 1, 2021, until July 1, 2029) Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Authority" means the Southwest Virginia Energy Research and Development Authority established pursuant to this article.

"Developer" means any private developer of an energy development project.

"Energy development project" means an electric generation facility located within Southwest Virginia and includes interests in land, improvements, and ancillary facilities.

"Southwest Virginia" means the region of the Commonwealth designated as Southwest Virginia in § 22.1-350.

2019, cc. 555, 556, § 67-1600; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1718. (Effective October 1, 2021, until July 1, 2029) Southwest Virginia Energy Research and Development Authority established; purpose.

The Southwest Virginia Energy Research and Development Authority is established as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. The purposes of the Authority are to promote opportunities for energy development in Southwest Virginia, create jobs and economic activity in Southwest Virginia consistent with the Virginia Energy Plan prepared pursuant to Article 4 (§ 45.2-1710 et seq.), and position Southwest Virginia and the Commonwealth as a leader in energy workforce and energy technology research and development. The Authority may also consult with research institutions, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and stakeholders as the Authority deems appropriate. The Authority shall have only those powers enumerated in this article.

2019, cc. 555, 556, § 67-1601; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1719. (Effective October 1, 2021, until July 1, 2029) Membership; terms; vacancies; expenses.

A. The Authority shall have a total membership of 11 nonlegislative citizen members appointed as follows: four members to be appointed by the Governor, four members to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates, and three members to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. All members of the Authority shall be citizens of the Commonwealth.

B. Except as otherwise provided in this article, all appointments shall be for terms of four years each. No member shall be eligible to serve more than two successive four-year terms. After expiration of an initial term of three years or less, two additional four-year terms may be served by such member if appointed thereto. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be made for the unexpired terms. Any appointment to fill a vacancy shall be made in the same manner as the original appointment. The remainder of any term to which a member is appointed to fill a vacancy shall not constitute a term in determining the member's eligibility for reappointment.

C. The Authority shall appoint from its membership a chairman and a vice-chairman, each of whom shall serve in such capacity at the pleasure of the Authority. The chairman, or in his absence the vice-chairman, shall preside at each meeting of the Authority. The meetings of the Authority shall be held on the call of the chairman or whenever a majority of the members so request. A majority of members of the Authority serving at any one time shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

D. Members shall serve without compensation. However, all members may be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825. Such expenses shall be paid from funds appropriated to the Authority by the General Assembly.

E. Members of the Authority shall be subject to the standards of conduct set forth in the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.) and may be removed from office for misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, neglect of duty, or misconduct in the manner set forth therein.

F. Except as otherwise provided in this article, members of the Authority shall be subject to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

2019, cc. 555, 556, § 67-1602; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1720. (Effective October 1, 2021, until July 1, 2029) Powers and duties of the Authority.

In addition to the other powers and duties established under this article, the Authority has the power and duty to:

1. Adopt, use, and alter at will an official seal;

2. Make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs;

3. Maintain an office at any place within the Commonwealth it designates;

4. Accept, hold, and administer moneys, grants, securities, or other property transferred, given, or bequeathed to the Authority, absolutely or in trust, from any source, public or private, for the purposes for which the Authority is established;

5. Make and execute contracts and all other instruments and agreements necessary or convenient for the exercise of its powers and functions;

6. Employ, in its discretion, consultants, attorneys, architects, engineers, accountants, financial experts, investment bankers, superintendents, managers, and any other employees and agents necessary and fix their compensation to be payable from funds made available to the Authority;

7. Invest its funds as permitted by applicable law;

8. Receive and accept from any federal or private agency, foundation, corporation, association, or person grants, donations of money, or real or personal property for the benefit of the Authority, and receive and accept from the Commonwealth or any other state, from any municipality, county, or other political subdivision thereof, or from any other source, aid or contributions of either money, property, or other things of value, to be held, used, and applied for the purposes for which such grants and contributions may be made;

9. Enter into agreements with any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States or of the Commonwealth and with lenders and enter into loans with contracting parties for the purpose of planning, regulating, and providing for the financing or assisting in the financing of any project;

10. Do any lawful act necessary or appropriate to carry out the powers granted or reasonably implied in this article;

11. Leverage the strength in energy workforce and energy technology research and development of the Commonwealth's public and private institutions of higher education;

12. Support the development of pump storage hydropower in Southwest Virginia and energy storage generally;

13. Promote the development of renewable energy generation facilities on brownfield sites, including abandoned mine sites;

14. Promote energy workforce development;

15. Assist energy technology research and development by, among other actions, promoting the development of a Southwest Virginia Energy Park; and

16. Identify and work with the Commonwealth's industries and nonprofit partners in advancing efforts related to energy development in Southwest Virginia.

2019, cc. 555, 556, § 67-1603; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1721. (Effective October 1, 2021, until July 1, 2029) Annual report.

On or before October 15 of each year, beginning in 2020, the Authority shall submit an annual summary of its activities and recommendations to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, the House Committee on Labor and Commerce, and the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor.

2019, cc. 555, 556, § 67-1604; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1722. (Effective October 1, 2021, until July 1, 2029) Confidentiality of information.

A. The Authority shall hold in confidence the personal and financial information supplied to it or maintained by it concerning the siting and development of energy projects.

B. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Authority, in its discretion, from releasing any information that has been transformed into a statistical or aggregate form that does not allow the identification of the person who supplied particular information.

C. Information supplied by or maintained on any person or entity applying for or receiving an allocation of any federal loan guarantee, as well as specific information relating to the amount of, or the identity of the recipient of, such distribution, shall be subject to disclosure in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

2019, cc. 555, 556, § 67-1605; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1723. (Effective October 1, 2021, until July 1, 2029) Declaration of public purpose; exemption from taxation.

A. The exercise of the powers granted by this article shall be in all respects for the benefit of the citizens of the Commonwealth and for the promotion of their welfare, convenience, and prosperity.

B. The Authority shall be deemed to be performing an essential governmental function in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it by this article, and the property of the Authority and its income and operations shall be exempt from taxation or assessments upon any property acquired or used by the Authority under the provisions of this article.

2019, cc. 555, 556, § 67-1606; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1724. (Effective October 1, 2021, until July 1, 2029) Sunset.

The provisions of this article shall expire on July 1, 2029.

2019, cc. 555, 556, § 67-1607; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Article 7. Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund and Program.

§ 45.2-1725. (Effective October 1, 2021) Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund and Program.

A. For the purposes of this section:

"Brownfield" means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

"Fund" means the Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund.

"Previously coal mined lands" means lands, associated waters, and surrounding watersheds where coal extraction, beneficiation, or processing has occurred.

"Program" means Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Program.

"Project" means all or any part of the following activities necessary or desirable for the restoration and redevelopment of a brownfield site or previously coal mined lands for renewable energy purposes: (i) environmental or cultural resource site assessments; (ii) the monitoring, remediation, cleanup, or containment of property to remove hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, solid wastes, or petroleum; (iii) the appropriate treatment of grave sites, and the appropriate and necessary treatment of significant archaeological resources, or the stabilization or restoration of structures listed on or eligible for the Virginia Landmarks Register; (iv) the demolition and removal of existing structures, or other site work necessary to make a site or certain real property usable for economic development; (v) the development of a remediation and reuse plan; and (vi) the development or operation of such site for renewable energy generation or storage.

"Renewable energy" means energy derived from sunlight, wind, and geothermal power.

B. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All funds appropriated for such purpose and any gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds received on its behalf shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of (i) awarding grants on a competitive basis through the Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Program established pursuant to subsection C or (ii) implementing and administering the Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund and Program. Moneys used for implementing and administering the Fund and Program shall be limited to 10 percent of the amount available in the Fund each year. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Director.

C. The Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Program is hereby established for the purpose of awarding grants on a competitive basis from such funds as may be available from the Fund to renewable energy projects located on brownfields or previously coal mined lands. The Program shall be administered by the Department. In administering the Program, the Department shall consult with the Department of Environmental Quality and establish and publish guidelines and criteria for grant awards, including guidelines and criteria governing agreements between the Department and grant recipients relating to the development of renewable energy projects on brownfields or previously coal mined lands. The criteria for grant recipients shall include requirements for project developers to hire local residents. The Department shall oversee each grant awarded through the Program and ensure thorough annual reporting on each such grant.

D. Grants shall be awarded in an amount of $500 per kilowatt of nameplate capacity from renewable energy sources that are located on previously coal mined lands and $100 per kilowatt of nameplate capacity from renewable energy sources that are located on brownfields. No more than $10 million shall be awarded to any single previously coal mined lands project and no more than $5 million shall be awarded to any single brownfield project that is not located on previously coal mined lands. If a project is eligible to receive a grant as a previously coal mined lands project, it shall not be eligible to receive a grant as a brownfields project, and vice versa.

No more than $35 million per year shall be allocated by the Program. Of this amount, $20 million shall be reserved for projects sited on previously coal mined lands. However, if less than $20 million is distributed to previously coal mined lands projects in a given year, any remaining funds may be reallocated to brownfield projects.

E. The Department shall, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Quality, localities, interest groups, private businesses, and other stakeholders, develop an online handbook for renewable energy and energy storage development on brownfields and previously coal mined lands. The online handbook shall include a discussion of coal mining permit types and reclamation requirements, permitting requirements for development on brownfields and previously coal mined lands, and policy recommendations for encouraging renewable energy development on brownfields and coal mines. The handbook shall be completed no later than July 1, 2022, and shall be updated as needed at the discretion of the Department.

F. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, in no event shall any allocation of funds be made to the Fund or the Program unless federal funds are available to cover the entire cost of such allocation.

G. The Department shall submit an annual report to the General Assembly regarding administration of the Fund and Program for the preceding fiscal year. The report shall include the number of grants awarded, the number of acres reclaimed or revitalized, the amount of nameplate capacity constructed, the number of jobs created, and the general economic impact of the Fund and Program. The report shall be furnished to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Labor and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor no later than November 1 of each year. However, no annual report shall be required if the Fund and Program do not receive funding.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 141, § 67-1800.

Article 8. Electric Vehicle Rebate Program.

§ 45.2-1726. (Effective October 1, 2021, until January 1, 2027) Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Advisory Council" means the Electric Vehicle Rebate Program Advisory Council.

"Base price" means the manufacturer's base price for the lowest price trim level of the model and shall not include charges for optional equipment, taxes, title, or registration fees.

"Dealer" means a motor vehicle dealer licensed pursuant to Chapter 15 (§ 46.2-1500 et seq.) of Title 46.2.

"Electric motor vehicle" means a two-axle motor vehicle with a base price of not more than $55,000 that uses electricity as its only source of motive power. "Electric motor vehicle" includes fuel cell electric vehicles.

"EPA" means the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

"Fund" means the Electric Vehicle Rebate Program Fund.

"Participating dealer" means a dealer who is participating in the Program.

"Program" means the Electric Vehicle Rebate Program established pursuant to this article.

"Purchase" means the purchase or lease of a new or used electric motor vehicle.

"Qualified resident of the Commonwealth" means a resident of the Commonwealth whose annual household income does not exceed 300 percent of the current poverty guidelines.

"Used electric motor vehicle" means a previously owned or leased electric motor vehicle that is more than two years old and not more than seven years old.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 493, § 67-1800.

§ 45.2-1727. (Effective October 1, 2021, until January 1, 2027) Electric Vehicle Rebate Program.

There is hereby established an Electric Vehicle Rebate Program for the purchase of new and used electric motor vehicles to provide an incentive to increase electric vehicle awareness and adoption in the Commonwealth. The Program shall be administered by the Department. The Department shall determine the best method to administer the Program, which may include contracting with a third-party administrator. As provided in § 58.1-2420, the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles may examine all records, books, papers, or other documents of any dealer in motor vehicles to verify the truth and accuracy of any statement or any other information relating to rebates claimed by the dealer.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 493, § 67-1801.

§ 45.2-1728. (Effective October 1, 2021, until January 1, 2027) Eligibility for rebate; amount of rebate.

A. Beginning January 1, 2022, a resident of the Commonwealth who purchases a new electric motor vehicle from a participating dealer shall be eligible for a rebate of $2,500. A qualified resident of the Commonwealth who purchases such vehicle shall also be eligible for an additional $2,000 enhanced rebate.

B. Beginning January 1, 2022, a resident of the Commonwealth who purchases a used electric motor vehicle from a participating dealer with a sale price as provided by § 58.1-2401 of not more than $25,000 shall be eligible for a rebate of $2,500. A qualified resident of the Commonwealth who purchases such vehicle shall also be eligible for an additional $2,000 enhanced rebate.

C. Any rebate provided under this article shall be applied toward payment for the purchase. The participating dealer shall be reimbursed by the Department from the Fund for each eligible rebate.

D. Rebates available pursuant to this article are subject to availability of funds in the Fund.

E. The amount of the rebates provided under this article may be increased or decreased annually by the Department in an amount not to exceed the recommendation of the Advisory Council pursuant to subsection A of § 67-1730.

F. The Department in consultation with the Advisory Council, shall develop and implement a process for verifying eligible purchasers and shall ensure that such process (i) is capable of being administered at the point of sale or lease of a vehicle, (ii) allows for the immediate determination of purchaser eligibility and the total amount of the rebate to which the purchaser is entitled, and (iii) confirms the rebate to the participating dealer.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 493, § 67-1802.

§ 45.2-1729. (Effective October 1, 2021, until January 1, 2027) Program website.

The Department shall establish a website for the administration of the Program. The website shall include general information for the public, including details about the Program and performance metrics regarding the Program. The website shall also provide (i) data updated weekly regarding the availability of funds in the Fund at the time of the purchase and (ii) instructions for the dealer as to how to process a reimbursement for the rebate provided pursuant to this article.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 493, § 67-1803.

§ 45.2-1730. (Effective October 1, 2021, until January 1, 2027) Electric Vehicle Rebate Program Advisory Council.

A. The Electric Vehicle Rebate Program Advisory Council is established to monitor the implementation and operation of the Program and to make recommendations to the Department regarding suggested changes to the Program, including regular assessment to determine the effect of the rebate on increasing electric vehicle sales, whether the Fund allocations pursuant to subsection B of § 45.2-1731 should be adjusted, and whether an income cap should be established to determine the eligibility of purchasers for a rebate pursuant to this article. The Advisory Council shall consider the goal of increasing electric vehicle awareness and adoption in developing and making its recommendations. The Advisory Council shall annually evaluate and recommend an increase or decrease in the amount of the rebates provided under this article to reflect the rate of inflation, as defined by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the relative price of electric motor vehicles compared with the price of traditional motor vehicles.

B. The Advisory Council shall consist of three legislative members and 13 nonlegislative members as follows: (i) two members of the House of Delegates, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates; (ii) one member of the Senate, to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; (iii) three nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Secretary of Transportation, two of whom shall be licensed new motor vehicle dealers and one of whom shall represent a new vehicle dealer association to which a majority of new motor vehicle dealers in the Commonwealth belong; (iv) seven nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources, two of whom shall represent environmental justice organizations, two of whom shall represent environmental advocacy organizations, one of whom shall represent a vehicle manufacturer association to which a majority of vehicle manufacturers belong, and two of whom shall represent vehicle original equipment manufacturers; (v) the Director of the Department, or his designee, who shall serve ex officio with voting privileges; (vi) the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, or his designee, who shall serve ex officio with voting privileges; and (vii) the Executive Director of the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board, who shall serve ex officio with voting privileges.

After an initial staggering of terms, legislative and nonlegislative members shall be appointed for a term of four years. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be for the unexpired terms. All members may be reappointed. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.

C. The Advisory Council shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman annually from among the members. The meetings of the Advisory Council shall be at the call of the chairman, the Director of the Department, or whenever a majority of the members so request.

D. Nonlegislative citizen members shall receive compensation and shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825. Funding for the costs of compensation and expenses of the members shall be provided by the Department.

E. The Department shall serve as staff to the Advisory Council.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 493, § 67-1804.

§ 45.2-1731. (Effective October 1, 2021, until January 1, 2027) Electric Vehicle Rebate Program Fund.

A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Electric Vehicle Rebate Program Fund. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All funds appropriated for such purpose and any gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds received on its behalf shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes set forth in this article, including expenses related to the administration of the Program by the Department. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Director of the Department.

B. All funds shall be allocated for the payment of rebates and enhanced rebates in this article. Beginning July 1, 2024, 25 percent of any unused funds remaining in the Fund at the end of the fiscal year shall be reallocated to fund electric vehicle charging infrastructure as approved by the General Assembly.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 493, § 67-1805.

§ 45.2-1732. (Effective October 1, 2021, until January 1, 2027) Report.

The Director of the Department shall report annually on or before December 1 to the Governor and the General Assembly regarding the implementation and administration of the Program and any recommendations of the Department or the Advisory Council. Each report shall include an assessment of the rebate and enhanced rebate, a recommendation on whether the Fund allocation set forth in subsection B of § 45.2-1731 should be adjusted, and a recommendation on whether an income cap should be established to determine the eligibility of purchasers for a rebate pursuant to this article.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 493, § 67-1806.

§ 45.2-1733. (Effective October 1, 2021, until January 1, 2027) Sunset.

The provisions of this article shall expire on January 1, 2027.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 493.

Chapter 18. Wind Energy.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 45.2-1800. (Effective October 1, 2021) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Authority" means the Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority established pursuant to Article 2 (§ 45.2-1803 et seq.).

"Division" means the Division of Offshore Wind in the Department as established pursuant to § 45.2-1802.

"Hampton Roads region" means the same as that term is defined in § 22.1-356.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1801. (Effective October 1, 2021) Offshore wind energy resources; policy.

It is the policy of the Commonwealth to support federal efforts to examine the feasibility of offshore wind energy being utilized in an environmentally responsible fashion.

2006, c. 939, § 67-300; 2010, cc. 607, 756; 2020, cc. 451, 452; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1802. (Effective October 1, 2021) Division of Offshore Wind established.

A. The Director shall establish the Division of Offshore Wind in the Department and shall appoint persons to direct, support, and execute the powers and duties of the Division.

B. The powers and duties of the Division include:

1. Identifying specific measures that will facilitate the establishment of the Hampton Roads region as a wind industry hub for offshore wind generation projects in state and federal waters off the United States coast;

2. Coordinating state agencies' activities related to offshore wind, including development of programs that prepare the Commonwealth's workforce to work in the offshore wind industry, create employment opportunities for Virginians within such industry, create opportunities for Commonwealth-based businesses to participate in the offshore wind industry supply chain, and attract out-of-state offshore wind-related businesses to locate within the Commonwealth;

3. Developing and implementing a stakeholder engagement strategy that identifies key groups, sets forth outreach objectives, and outlines a timeline for outreach and engagement;

4. Identifying regulatory and other barriers to the deployment of offshore wind and attraction of offshore wind supply chain businesses; and

5. Providing staff support for the Authority and facilitating fulfillment of the Authority's purpose and duties set forth in Article 2 (§ 45.2-1803 et seq.).

C. On or before October 15 of each year, the Division shall submit an annual summary of its activities, the ways in which those activities have furthered the functions and programs of the Division, and the benefits of the efforts of the Division to the Commonwealth and its economy to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, the House Committee on Labor and Commerce, and the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. The Division may include its submission with the report of the Authority required by § 45.2-1808.

2020, c. 794, § 45.1-161.5:1; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Article 2. Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority.

§ 45.2-1803. (Effective October 1, 2021) Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Developer" means any private developer of an offshore wind energy project.

"Offshore wind energy project" means a wind-powered electric energy facility, including tower, turbine, and associated equipment, located off the coast of the Commonwealth beyond the Commonwealth's three-mile jurisdictional limit, and includes interests in land, improvements, and ancillary facilities.

"Transmission study" means a study to determine the potential interconnection options to accommodate multiple offshore wind energy projects in the Hampton Roads region.

2010, cc. 507, 681, § 67-1200; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1804. (Effective October 1, 2021) Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority established; purpose.

A. The Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority is established as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth.

B. The Authority is established for the purposes of facilitating, coordinating, and supporting the development, either by the Authority or by other qualified entities, of the offshore wind energy industry, offshore wind energy projects, and associated supply chain vendors by (i) collecting relevant metocean and environmental data; (ii) identifying existing state and regulatory or administrative barriers to the development of the offshore wind energy industry; (iii) working in cooperation with relevant local, state, and federal agencies to upgrade port and other logistical facilities and sites to accommodate the manufacturing and assembly of offshore wind energy project components and vessels; and (iv) ensuring that the development of such projects is compatible with other ocean uses and avian and marine resources, including both the possible interference with and positive effects on naval facilities and operations, NASA-Wallops Flight Facility operations, shipping lanes, recreational and commercial fisheries, and avian and marine species and habitats.

C. The Authority shall, in cooperation with the relevant state and federal agencies as necessary, recommend ways to encourage and expedite the development of the offshore wind energy industry. The Authority shall also consult with research institutions, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and stakeholders as the Authority deems appropriate.

D. The Authority shall have only those powers enumerated in this article.

2010, cc. 507, 681, § 67-1201; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1805. (Effective October 1, 2021) Membership; terms; vacancies; expenses.

A. The Authority shall be composed of nine nonlegislative citizen members appointed by the Governor, one of whom shall be a representative of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority as established in § 2.2-2202. In addition, one ex officio member without voting privileges shall be selected by the Governor after consideration of the persons nominated by the U.S. Secretary of the Navy. With the exception of the representative of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, all members of the Authority shall be citizens of the Commonwealth.

B. Except as otherwise provided in this article, all appointments shall be for terms of four years each. No member shall be eligible to serve more than two successive four-year terms. After expiration of an initial term of three years or less, two additional four-year terms may be served by such member if appointed thereto. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be made for the unexpired terms. Any appointment to fill a vacancy shall be made in the same manner as the original appointment. The remainder of any term to which a member is appointed to fill a vacancy shall not constitute a term in determining the member's eligibility for reappointment.

C. The Authority shall appoint from its membership a chairman and a vice-chairman, each of whom shall serve in such capacity at the pleasure of the Authority. The chairman, or in his absence the vice-chairman, shall preside at each meeting of the Authority. The meetings of the Authority shall be held on the call of the chairman or whenever a majority of the members so request. A majority of members of the Authority serving at any one time shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

D. Members shall serve without compensation. However, all members may be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825. Such expenses shall be paid from such funds as may be appropriated to the Authority by the General Assembly.

E. Members of the Authority shall be subject to the standards of conduct set forth in the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.) and may be removed from office for misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, neglect of duty, or misconduct in the manner set forth therein.

F. Except as otherwise provided in this article, members of the Authority shall be subject to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

2010, cc. 507, 681, § 67-1202; 2011, c. 17; 2012, c. 502; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1806. (Effective October 1, 2021) Powers and duties of the Authority.

In addition to the other powers and duties established under this article, the Authority has the power and duty to:

1. Adopt, use, and alter at will an official seal;

2. Make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs;

3. Maintain an office at any place within the Commonwealth it designates;

4. Accept, hold, and administer moneys, grants, securities, or other property transferred, given, or bequeathed to the Authority, absolutely or in trust, from any source, public or private, for the purposes for which the Authority is established;

5. Make and execute contracts and all other instruments and agreements necessary or convenient for the exercise of its powers and functions;

6. Employ, in its discretion, consultants, attorneys, architects, engineers, accountants, financial experts, investment bankers, superintendents, managers, and any other employees and agents necessary, and fix their compensation to be payable from funds made available to the Authority;

7. Invest its funds as permitted by applicable law;

8. Receive and accept from any federal or private agency, foundation, corporation, association, or person grants, donations of money, or real or personal property for the benefit of the Authority, and receive and accept from the Commonwealth or any other state, from any municipality, county, or other political subdivision thereof, or from any other source, aid or contributions of either money, property, or other things of value, to be held, used, and applied for the purposes for which such grants and contributions may be made;

9. Enter into agreements with any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States or of the Commonwealth and with lenders and enter into loans with contracting parties for the purpose of planning, regulating, and providing for the financing or assisting in the financing of any project;

10. Do any lawful act necessary or appropriate to carry out the powers granted or reasonably implied in this article;

11. Identify and take steps to mitigate existing state and regulatory or administrative barriers to the development of the offshore wind energy industry, including facilitating any permitting processes; and

12. Enter into interstate partnerships to develop the offshore wind energy industry and offshore wind energy projects.

2010, cc. 507, 681, § 67-1207; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1807. (Effective October 1, 2021) Director; staff; counsel to the Authority.

A. The Director shall serve as Director of the Authority and shall administer the affairs and business of the Authority in accordance with the provisions of this article and subject to the policies, control, and direction of the Authority. The Director shall maintain and is custodian of all books, documents, and papers of or filed with the Authority. The Director may cause copies to be made of all minutes and other records and documents of the Authority and may give certificates under seal of the Authority to the effect that such copies are true copies, and all persons dealing with the Authority may rely on such certificates. The Director also shall perform such other duties as prescribed by the Authority in carrying out the purposes of this article.

B. The Division shall serve as staff to the Authority.

C. The Office of the Attorney General shall provide counsel to the Authority.

2010, cc. 507, 681, § 67-1208; 2020, c. 794; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1808. (Effective October 1, 2021) Annual report.

On or before October 15 of each year, the Authority shall submit an annual summary of its activities and recommendations to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, the House Committee on Labor and Commerce, and the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. Such report may include the submission of the Division required by § 45.2-1802.

2010, cc. 507, 681, § 67-1209; 2020, c. 794; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1809. (Effective October 1, 2021) Confidentiality of information.

A. The Authority shall hold in confidence the personal and financial information supplied to it or maintained by it concerning the siting and development of offshore wind energy projects.

B. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Authority, in its discretion, from releasing any information that has been transformed into a statistical or aggregate form that does not allow the identification of the person who supplied particular information.

C. Information supplied by or maintained on any person or entity applying for or receiving an allocation of any federal loan guarantee, as well as specific information relating to the amount of, or the identity of the recipient of, such distribution, shall be subject to disclosure in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

2010, cc. 507, 681, § 67-1210; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1810. (Effective October 1, 2021) Declaration of public purpose; exemption from taxation.

A. The exercise of the powers granted by this article shall be in all respects for the benefit of the citizens of the Commonwealth and for the promotion of their welfare, convenience, and prosperity.

B. The Authority shall be deemed to be performing an essential governmental function in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it by this article, and the property of the Authority and its income and operations shall be exempt from taxation or assessments upon any property acquired or used by the Authority under the provisions of this article.

2010, cc. 507, 681, § 67-1211; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1811. (Effective October 1, 2021) Operation.

The Authority shall, through moneys derived from sources other than state funds, to the extent such moneys are available, operate in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to upgrade wind resource and other metocean assessment equipment at Chesapeake Light Tower and other structures.

2010, cc. 507, 681, § 67-1203; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1812. (Effective October 1, 2021) Public-private partnerships.

A. The Authority may establish public-private partnerships with developers pursuant to the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 (§ 56-575.1 et seq.) for purposes set forth in this section.

B. The Authority may establish a public-private partnership for the installation and operation of wind resource and other metocean equipment, including light detection and ranging equipment, meteorological measurement towers, and data collection platforms. Any partnership established pursuant to this subsection shall stipulate that:

1. The Authority and the developer shall share the costs of the upgrade;

2. The developer, in coordination with the Authority and relevant state and federal agencies, shall operate any meteorological measurement towers and data collection platforms; and

3. The developer shall make all collected data available to the Authority.

C. The Authority may establish a public-private partnership for the collection of avian and marine environmental data. Any partnership established pursuant to this subsection shall stipulate that:

1. The Authority and the developer shall share the costs of data collection;

2. The developer, in coordination with the Authority and relevant state and federal agencies, shall manage the environmental data collection process; and

3. The developer shall make all collected data available to the Authority.

D. The Authority may make any data collected pursuant to subsection B or C available to the public.

E. The Authority may establish a public-private partnership for the upgrade of port facilities and other logistical equipment and sites to accommodate the manufacturing and assembly of offshore wind energy project components and vessels that will support the construction and operations of offshore wind energy projects. Any partnership established pursuant to this subsection shall stipulate that the Authority and the entities shall share the costs of the upgrade.

2010, cc. 507, 681, §§ 67-1203, 67-1204; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1813. (Effective October 1, 2021) Federal loan guarantees.

A. The Authority, on behalf of the Commonwealth, may apply to the U.S. Department of Energy for federal loan guarantees authorized or made available pursuant to Title XVII of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005, P.L. 109-58; the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-5; or other similar federal legislation to facilitate the development of offshore wind energy projects.

B. Upon obtaining a federal loan guarantee for an offshore wind energy project pursuant to subsection A, the Authority, subject to any restrictions imposed by federal law, may allocate or assign all or any portion thereof to a qualified third party on terms and conditions the Authority finds appropriate. Any action of the Authority relating to the allocation and assignment of such loan guarantee shall be exempt from the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) pursuant to subdivision B 4 of § 2.2-4002. Any decision of the Authority pursuant to this section shall be final and not subject to review or appeal.

2010, cc. 507, 681, § 67-1205; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Chapter 19. Solar Energy.

Article 1. Virginia Solar Energy Center.

§ 45.2-1900. (Effective October 1, 2021) Virginia Solar Energy Center; purposes.

A. The Virginia Solar Energy Center (the Center) is established as part of the Department. The purposes of the Center are to (i) serve the people of the Commonwealth as a clearinghouse to gather, maintain, and disseminate general and technical information on solar energy and its utilization; (ii) coordinate programs for solar energy data-gathering in the Commonwealth; (iii) coordinate efforts and programs on solar energy with other state agencies and institutions, other states, and federal agencies; (iv) promote cooperation among and between Virginia business, industry, and agriculture and the public related to the use of solar energy; (v) develop public education programs on solar energy for use in schools and by the public; and (vi) provide assistance in formulating policies on the utilization of solar energy that would be in the best interest of the Commonwealth.

B. The Center may receive nonstate funds for the purposes provided in this section.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-391; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Article 2. Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority.

§ 45.2-1901. (Effective October 1, 2021; Expires July 1, 2025) Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Authority" means the Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority established pursuant to this article.

"Developer" means any private developer of a solar energy project or an energy storage project.

"Energy storage project" means an energy storage facility located within the Commonwealth and includes interests in land, improvements, and ancillary facilities.

"Solar energy project" means an electric generation facility located within the Commonwealth and includes interests in land, improvements, and ancillary facilities.

2015, cc. 90, 398, § 67-1500; 2017, c. 813; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1902. (Effective October 1, 2021; Expires July 1, 2025) Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority established; purpose.

The Virginia Solar Energy Development Authority is continued as the Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority. The Authority constitutes a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. The Authority is established for the purposes of (i) facilitating, coordinating, and supporting the development, either by the Authority or by other qualified entities, of the solar energy and energy storage industries and solar energy and energy storage projects by developing programs that increase the availability of financing for solar energy projects and energy storage projects; (ii) facilitating the increase of solar energy generation systems and energy storage projects on public and private sector facilities in the Commonwealth; (iii) promoting the growth of the Commonwealth's solar and energy storage industries; (iv) providing a hub for collaboration between entities, both public and private, to partner on solar energy projects and energy storage projects; and (v) positioning the Commonwealth as a leader in research, development, commercialization, manufacturing, and deployment of energy storage technology. The Authority may also consult with research institutions, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and stakeholders as the Authority deems appropriate. The Authority has only those powers enumerated in this article.

2015, cc. 90, 398, § 67-1501; 2017, c. 813; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1903. (Effective October 1, 2021; Expires July 1, 2025) Membership; terms; vacancies; expenses.

A. The Authority shall have a total membership of 15 nonlegislative citizen members appointed as follows: eight members to be appointed by the Governor; four members to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates; and three members to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. All members of the Authority shall be citizens of the Commonwealth. Members may include representatives of solar businesses, solar customers, renewable energy financiers, state and local government solar customers, institutions of higher education who have expertise in energy technology, and solar research academics.

B. Except as otherwise provided in this article, all appointments shall be for terms of four years each. No member shall be eligible to serve more than two successive four-year terms. After expiration of an initial term of three years or less, two additional four-year terms may be served by such member if appointed thereto. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be made for the unexpired terms. Any appointment to fill a vacancy shall be made in the same manner as the original appointment. The remainder of any term to which a member is appointed to fill a vacancy shall not constitute a term in determining the member's eligibility for reappointment.

C. The Authority shall appoint from its membership a chairman and a vice-chairman, each of whom shall serve in such capacity at the pleasure of the Authority. The chairman, or in his absence the vice-chairman, shall preside at each meeting of the Authority. The meetings of the Authority shall be held on the call of the chairman or whenever a majority of the members so request. A majority of members of the Authority serving at any one time shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

D. Members shall serve without compensation. However, all members may be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825. Such expenses shall be paid from funds appropriated to the Authority by the General Assembly.

E. Members of the Authority shall be subject to the standards of conduct set forth in the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.) and may be removed from office for misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, neglect of duty, or misconduct in the manner set forth therein.

F. Except as otherwise provided in this article, members of the Authority shall be subject to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

2015, cc. 90, 398, § 67-1502; 2017, c. 813; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1904. (Effective October 1, 2021; Expires July 1, 2025) Partnerships.

A. The Authority may establish public-private partnerships with entities pursuant to the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 (§ 56-575.1 et seq.) to increase the number of solar energy generation systems on or located adjacent to public and private facilities in the Commonwealth. Any partnership established pursuant to this section shall stipulate that the Authority and the developers shall share the costs of the installation and operation of solar energy facilities and equipment.

B. The Authority may provide a central hub for appropriate entities, both public and private, to enter into partnerships that result in solar energy generation projects being developed in the Commonwealth. The Authority may act as a good faith broker in such matters to facilitate appropriate partnerships, including public-private partnerships.

2015, cc. 90, 398, § 67-1503; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1905. (Effective October 1, 2021; Expires July 1, 2025) Federal loan guarantees.

A. The Authority, on behalf of the Commonwealth, may apply to the U.S. Department of Energy for federal loan guarantees authorized or made available pursuant to Title XVII of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005, P.L. 109-58; the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-5; or other similar federal legislation to facilitate the development of solar energy projects.

B. Upon obtaining a federal loan guarantee for a solar energy project pursuant to subsection A, the Authority, subject to any restrictions imposed by federal law, may allocate or assign all or any portion thereof to a qualified third party on terms and conditions the Authority finds appropriate. Any action of the Authority relating to the allocation and assignment of such loan guarantee shall be exempt from the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) pursuant to subdivision B 4 of § 2.2-4002. Any decision of the Authority pursuant to this section shall be final and not subject to review or appeal.

2015, cc. 90, 398, § 67-1504; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1906. (Effective October 1, 2021; Expires July 1, 2025) Powers and duties of the Authority.

In addition to other powers and duties established under this article, the Authority has the power and duty to:

1. Adopt, use, and alter at will an official seal;

2. Make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs;

3. Maintain an office at any place within the Commonwealth it designates;

4. Accept, hold, and administer moneys, grants, securities, or other property transferred, given, or bequeathed to the Authority, absolutely or in trust, from any source, public or private, for the purposes for which the Authority is established;

5. Make and execute contracts and all other instruments and agreements necessary or convenient for the exercise of its powers and functions;

6. Employ, in its discretion, consultants, attorneys, architects, engineers, accountants, financial experts, investment bankers, superintendents, managers, and any other employees and agents necessary and fix their compensation to be payable from funds made available to the Authority;

7. Invest its funds as permitted by applicable law;

8. Receive and accept from any federal or private agency, foundation, corporation, association, or person grants, donations of money, or real or personal property for the benefit of the Authority, and receive and accept from the Commonwealth or any other state, from any municipality, county, or other political subdivision thereof, or from any other source, aid or contributions of either money, property, or other things of value, to be held, used, and applied for the purposes for which such grants and contributions may be made;

9. Enter into agreements with any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States or of the Commonwealth and with lenders and enter into loans with contracting parties for the purpose of planning, regulating, and providing for the financing or assisting in the financing of any project;

10. Do any lawful act necessary or appropriate to carry out the powers granted or reasonably implied in this article;

11. Identify and take steps to mitigate existing state and regulatory or administrative barriers to the development of the solar energy and energy storage industries, including facilitating any permitting processes;

12. Enter into interstate partnerships to develop the solar energy industry, solar energy projects, and energy storage projects;

13. Collaborate with entities, including institutions of higher education, to increase the training and development of the workforce needed by the solar and energy storage industries in the Commonwealth, including industry-recognized credentials and certifications;

14. Conduct any other activities as may seem appropriate to increase solar energy generation in the Commonwealth and the associated jobs and economic development and competitiveness benefits, including assisting investor-owned utilities in the planned deployment of at least 400 megawatts of solar energy projects in the Commonwealth by 2020 through entering into agreements in its discretion in any manner provided by law for the purpose of planning and providing for the financing or assisting in the financing of the construction or purchase of such solar energy projects authorized pursuant to § 56-585.1;

15. Promote collaborative efforts among the Commonwealth's public and private institutions of higher education in research, development, and commercialization efforts related to energy storage;

16. Monitor relevant developments in energy storage technology and deployment nationally and globally and disseminate relevant information and research results; and

17. Identify and work with the Commonwealth's industries and nonprofit partners in advancing efforts related to the development and commercialization of energy storage.

2015, cc. 90, 398, § 67-1505; 2017, c. 813; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1907. (Effective October 1, 2021; Expires July 1, 2025) Director; staff; counsel to the Authority.

A. The Director shall serve as Director of the Authority and shall administer the affairs and business of the Authority in accordance with the provisions of this article and subject to the policies, control, and direction of the Authority. The Director may obtain non-state-funded support to carry out any duties assigned to the Director. Funding for such support may be provided by any source, public or private, for the purposes for which the Authority is established. The Director shall maintain and is custodian of all books, documents, and papers of or filed with the Authority. The Director may cause copies to be made of all minutes and other records and documents of the Authority and may give certificates under seal of the Authority to the effect that such copies are true copies, and any person dealing with the Authority may rely on such certificates. The Director also shall perform other duties prescribed by the Authority in carrying out the purposes of this article.

B. The Department shall serve as staff to the Authority.

C. The Office of the Attorney General shall provide counsel to the Authority.

2015, cc. 90, 398, § 67-1506; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1908. (Effective October 1, 2021; Expires July 1, 2025) Annual report.

On or before October 15 of each year, the Authority shall submit an annual summary of its activities and recommendations to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, the House Committee on Labor and Commerce, and the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor.

2015, cc. 90, 398, § 67-1507; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1909. (Effective October 1, 2021; Expires July 1, 2025) Confidentiality of information.

A. The Authority shall hold in confidence the personal and financial information supplied to it or maintained by it concerning the siting and development of solar energy projects and energy storage projects.

B. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Authority, in its discretion, from releasing any information that has been transformed into a statistical or aggregate form that does not allow the identification of the person who supplied particular information.

C. Information supplied by or maintained on any person or entity applying for or receiving an allocation of any federal loan guarantee, as well as specific information relating to the amount of, or the identity of the recipient of, such distribution, shall be subject to disclosure in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

2015, cc. 90, 398, § 67-1508; 2017, c. 813; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1910. (Effective October 1, 2021; Expires July 1, 2025) Declaration of public purpose; exemption from taxation.

A. The exercise of the powers granted by this article shall be in all respects for the benefit of the citizens of the Commonwealth and for the promotion of their welfare, convenience, and prosperity.

B. The Authority shall be deemed to be performing an essential governmental function in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it by this chapter, and the property of the Authority and its income and operations shall be exempt from taxation or assessments upon any property acquired or used by the Authority under the provisions of this article.

2015, cc. 90, 398, § 67-1509; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1911. (Effective October 1, 2021; Expires July 1, 2025) Sunset.

The provisions of this article shall expire on July 1, 2025.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Article 3. Clean Energy Advisory Board.

§ 45.2-1912. (Effective October 1, 2021) Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Board" means the Clean Energy Advisory Board created pursuant to § 45.2-1913.

"Fund" means the Low-to-Moderate Income Solar Loan and Rebate Fund created pursuant to § 45.2-1916.

"Program" means the Low-to-Moderate Income Solar Loan and Rebate Pilot Program created pursuant to § 45.2-1917.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1913. (Effective October 1, 2021) Clean Energy Advisory Board; purpose.

The Clean Energy Advisory Board is established as an advisory board in the executive branch of state government. The purpose of the Board is to establish a pilot program for disbursing loans or rebates for the installation of solar energy infrastructure in low-income and moderate-income households.

2019, c. 554, § 45.1-395; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1914. (Effective October 1, 2021) Membership; terms; quorum; meetings.

A. The Board shall have a total membership of 17 members that shall consist of 16 nonlegislative citizen members and one ex officio member. Members may reside within or without the Commonwealth. Nonlegislative citizen members shall be appointed as follows:

1. Six nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates upon consideration of the recommendations of the Board of Directors of the Maryland-DC-Delaware-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (the MDV-SEIA Board) and the Governor's Advisory Council on Environmental Justice (the Council), one of whom shall be a designee of the Virginia Housing Development Authority, created pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 1.2 (§ 36-55.24 et seq.) of Title 36; one of whom shall be a rooftop solar energy professional or employer or representative of rooftop solar energy professionals; one of whom shall be a current or former member of the Council; one of whom shall be a member or representative of the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC); one of whom shall be an expert with experience developing low-income or moderate-income incentive and loan programs for distributed renewable energy resources; and one of whom shall be an attorney who is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth and maintains a legal practice dedicated to rural development, rural electrification, and energy policy;

2. Three nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules upon consideration of the recommendations of the MDV-SEIA Board, one of whom shall be a solar energy professional or employer or representative of solar energy professionals, one of whom shall work for or with an investor-owned electric utility company based in the Commonwealth, and one of whom shall be a member or representative of VMDAEC; and

3. Seven nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Governor upon consideration of the recommendations of the MDV-SEIA Board and the Council and subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, one of whom shall be an attorney who is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth and maintains a legal practice in renewable energy law and transactions, one of whom shall be an attorney who is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth and specializes in tax law and energy transactions, one of whom shall be an attorney with the Division of Consumer Counsel created pursuant to the provisions of § 2.2-517, one of whom shall be an employee of a community development financial institution who specializes in impact investing, one of whom shall be a member of a Virginia environmental organization, and two of whom shall be designees of the Department of Housing and Community Development, created pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 8 (§ 36-131 et seq.) of Title 36.

B. The Director or his designee shall serve ex officio with voting privileges and shall assist in convening the meetings of the Board.

C. Nonlegislative citizen members of the Board shall be citizens of the Commonwealth. The ex officio member of the Board shall serve a term coincident with his term of office. Nonlegislative citizen members shall be appointed for a term of three years. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be for the unexpired terms. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments. All members may be reappointed.

D. The Board shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman from among its membership. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum. The meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the chairman or whenever the majority of the members so request.

2019, c. 554, § 45.1-396; 2020, c. 803; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1915. (Effective October 1, 2021) Powers and duties of the Board; report.

The Board has the powers and duties to:

1. Advise the Director on the management of the Fund pursuant to the provisions of § 45.2-1916;

2. Develop, establish, and operate, with the approval of the Director, the Program pursuant to the provisions of § 45.2-1917;

3. Advise the Director on the possibility of working with a community development financial institution or other financial institutions to further the purposes of the Program;

4. Advise the Director on the distribution of moneys in the Fund in the form of loans or rebates pursuant to the provisions of § 45.2-1917; and

5. Submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an annual report for publication as a report document as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports. The chairman shall submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an annual executive summary of the interim activity and work of the Board no later than the first day of each regular session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall be submitted for publication as a report document as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

2019, c. 554, § 45.1-397; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1916. (Effective October 1, 2021) Low-to-Moderate Income Solar Loan and Rebate Fund.

There is hereby established in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Low-to-Moderate Income Solar Loan and Rebate Fund. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All funds appropriated for such purpose and any gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds received on its behalf shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of extending loans or paying rebates to electric customers who complete solar installations or energy efficiency improvements pursuant to the provisions of § 45.2-1917. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Director.

2019, c. 554, § 45.1-398; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1917. (Effective October 1, 2021) Low-to-Moderate Income Solar Loan and Rebate Pilot Program.

A. The Board, with the approval of the Director, shall develop and establish a Low-to-Moderate Income Solar Loan and Rebate Pilot Program and rules for the loan or rebate application process. The Program shall be open to any Virginia resident whose household income is at or below 80 percent of the state median income or regional median income, whichever is greater. The Program shall allow only one loan per residence, irrespective of the ownership of the solar energy system that is installed. Such loan shall be available only for a solar installation or energy efficiency improvements pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 1.2 (§ 36-55.24 et seq.) of Title 36.

B. The Board shall accept an application only from the installer of the solar installation or the agent of the customer.

Each application shall include (i) 12 months of the customer's utility bills prior to installation of the solar energy system and an agreement to provide 12 months of utility bills to the Board following the installation; (ii) the customer's permission for the Director to (a) create a customer profile for the customer if he becomes an eligible loan or rebate customer, (b) aggregate the data provided by such eligible loan or rebate customers, and (c) use such aggregate data for the purpose of lowering energy costs and implementing effective programs; (iii) evidence of the completion of a home performance audit, conducted by a qualified local weatherization service provider, before and after installation of energy efficiency services such as lighting or insulation improvements, attic tents, weatherization, air sealing of openings in the building envelope, sealing of ducts, or thermostat upgrades, to demonstrate that such energy efficiency services were completed and resulted in a reduction in consumption of at least 12 percent; and (iv) an affidavit attesting to the receipt of a public benefit at the time the solar energy system is to be installed.

C. The Board shall review each application submitted to it on a first-come, first-served basis and shall recommend to the Director the approval or denial of each such application within 30 days of receipt. If the Director approves an application, he shall hold a reservation of funds for as long as 180 days for final loan or rebate claim and disbursement.

D. A customer whose application is approved may install an energy system that is interconnected pursuant to the provisions of § 56-594 or any section in Title 56 that addresses net energy metering provisions for electric cooperative service territories.

E. All of the work of installing the energy system shall be completed by a licensed contractor that (i) possesses an Alternative Energy System (AES) Contracting specialty as defined by the Board for Contractors pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 54.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 54.1; (ii) possesses certification for solar installation from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, Solar Energy International, Roof Integrated Solar Energy, or a similar installer certification program; (iii) possesses a rating of "A" or higher from the local Better Business Bureau; and (iv) has installed a minimum of 150 net-metered residential solar systems in the Commonwealth. If the work of installing the solar energy system requires electrical work, such work shall be completed by an electrical contractor licensed by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. All photovoltaic panels, inverters, and other electrical apparatus used in the solar energy system shall be tested and certified by a federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory such as UL LLC and installed in compliance with manufacturer specifications and all applicable building and electrical codes.

F. The customer or the installer, acting on behalf of the customer, shall submit any loan or rebate claim within 90 days of completion of the installation of the solar energy system, with completion deemed to have occurred once the solar energy system's bi-directional meter or net meter, or the respective utility's revenue grade meter, has been installed and the system has been electrified. Each rebate claim shall include, at a minimum, a date of system electrification and a time-stamped and date-stamped verification of (i) bi-directional net meter delivery or (ii) the operation of a compatible programmed smart meter capable of tracking net metering activity.

G. The Director shall review and approve or deny a loan or rebate claim within 60 days of receipt and shall provide a written explanation of each denial to the respective claimant. The Director shall disburse from the Fund created pursuant to § 45.2-1916 the loan or rebate for each approved claim within 60 days of its receipt of the claim and according to the order in which its respective application was approved. Any rebate or grant shall be in the amount of no more than $2 per DC watt for up to six kilowatts of solar capacity installed. The customer may use a rebate in addition to any federal tax credits or state incentives or enhancements earned for the same solar installation.

2019, c. 554, § 45.1-399; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Chapter 20. Geothermal Energy.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 45.2-2000. (Effective October 1, 2021) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Board" means the State Water Control Board.

"Correlative right" means the right of each geothermal owner in a geothermal system to produce without waste his just and equitable share of the geothermal resources in the geothermal system.

"Geothermal energy" means the usable energy that is produced or that can be produced from a geothermal resource.

"Geothermal resource" means the natural heat of the earth and the energy, in whatever form, that is present in, associated with, or created by, or that may be extracted from, such natural heat, as determined by the regulations of the Department.

"Geothermal system" means any aquifer, pool, reservoir, or other geologic formation containing geothermal resources.

1981, c. 506, § 45.1-179.2; 1984, c. 590; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2001. (Effective October 1, 2021) Application.

The provisions of this chapter regarding (i) permitting, well regulations, reservoir management, and allocation apply to geothermal resources at temperatures above the minimum temperature set forth by the Department pursuant to § 45.2-2004 and (ii) leasing requirements, royalties, or severance taxes apply to geothermal resource applications producing more than the volumetric rate set forth by the Department pursuant to § 45.2-2004.

1981, c. 506, § 45.1-179.3; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2002. (Effective October 1, 2021) Ownership.

Ownership rights to a geothermal resource are in the owner of the surface property underlain by the geothermal resource unless such rights have been otherwise explicitly reserved or conveyed. Nothing in this section shall divest the people or the Commonwealth of any rights, title, or interest they might have in any geothermal resource.

1981, c. 506, § 45.1-179.4; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2003. (Effective October 1, 2021) Findings; clarification of nature of the resource.

Geothermal resources are found and hereby declared to be sui generis, being neither mineral resources nor water resources. No mineral estate shall be construed to include geothermal resources unless such inclusion is explicit in the terms of the deed or other instrument of conveyance.

1981, c. 506, § 45.1-179.5; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Article 2. Resource Regulation.

§ 45.2-2004. (Effective October 1, 2021) Powers and duties of the Department.

A. The Department has jurisdiction and authority over all persons and property, public and private, necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter and has the power and authority to make and enforce regulations and orders and do whatever is reasonably necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter. Any regulations adopted by the Department pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be adopted in compliance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

B. The Department shall:

1. Consult with the Board in carrying out its powers and duties pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;

2. Develop a comprehensive geothermal permitting system for the Commonwealth that provides for the exploration and development of geothermal resources;

3. Adopt regulations necessary to provide for geothermal drilling and the exploration for and development of geothermal resources in the Commonwealth. Such regulations shall be based on a system of correlative rights;

4. Establish minimum temperature levels and volumetric rates in order to determine Department jurisdiction over geothermal resource development. In establishing such temperature levels, the Department shall set (i) minimum temperature levels for permitting, well regulations, reservoir management, and allocation of geothermal resources and (ii) minimum volumetric rates for geothermal leasing, royalties, and severance taxes, as necessary. The Department shall review established temperature level and volumetric rate requirements biennially and revise the figures as necessary. Revision of temperature levels or volumetric rate requirements shall not occur more often than every two years, and such revision shall not operate retroactively; and

5. Consult with the State Department of Health as necessary to protect potable waters of the Commonwealth and to carry out the powers and duties of the Department pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

1981, c. 506, § 45.1-179.7; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2005. (Effective October 1, 2021) Reinjection policy.

The Department, the Board, and the State Department of Health shall jointly develop and revise as necessary a policy on reinjection of spent geothermal fluids. Such policy shall refer to the reinjection into the ground of waters extracted from the earth in the process of geothermal development, production, or utilization.

1981, c. 506, § 45.1-179.8; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2006. (Effective October 1, 2021) Cancellation or suspension of permit.

If the Department determines, after a public hearing held in conjunction with the Board, that a holder of a permit issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter has willfully violated any provision of such permit or any provision of this chapter, the Department may cancel or suspend such permit for cause or impose limitations on the future use thereof in order to prevent future violations.

1981, c. 506, § 45.1-179.9; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2007. (Effective October 1, 2021) Penalties; injunctions.

A. Any person who violates any provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a civil penalty of not less than $10 or more than $250 for each violation.

B. In addition, upon violation of any provision of this chapter or regulation of the Department adopted pursuant to this chapter, the Department may, either before or after the institution of proceedings pursuant to subsection A, institute a civil action in the circuit court where the well is located for injunctive relief to restrain the violation and for any other or further relief that the court deems proper.

1981, c. 506, § 45.1-179.10; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2008. (Effective October 1, 2021) Judicial review.

Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the Department pursuant to the provisions of § 45.2-2006 is entitled to judicial review of such final decision in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

1981, c. 506, § 45.1-179.11; 1986, c. 615; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Chapter 21. Nuclear Energy.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 45.2-2100. (Effective October 1, 2021) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Authority" means the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority established pursuant to this chapter.

"Board" means the board of directors of the Authority.

"Consortium" means the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium established by the Authority pursuant to § 45.2-2105.

"Member" means a member of the Consortium.

2013, cc. 57, 394, § 67-1400; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2101. (Effective October 1, 2021) Nuclear energy; strategic plan.

A. The Department and the Secretaries of Commerce and Trade and Education shall work in coordination with the Authority, established pursuant to Article 2 (§ 45.2-2102), and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority, established pursuant to Article 4 (§ 2.2-2234 et seq.) of Chapter 22 of Title 2.2, to develop a strategic plan for nuclear energy as part of the Commonwealth's overall goal of carbon-free energy.

B. Such plan may include (i) the promotion of new technologies and opportunities for innovation, including advanced manufacturing; (ii) the establishment of a collaborative research center and university nuclear leadership program to promote education in fields that meet the workforce demands of Virginia's nuclear industry; and (iii) recognition of the role of nuclear energy in the Commonwealth's goal of employing 100 percent carbon-free sources of energy by 2050.

C. Such plan shall be completed by October 1, 2020, updated every four years thereafter, and published on the Internet by the Authority.

2020, cc. 657, 658, § 67-1700; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Article 2. Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority.

§ 45.2-2102. (Effective October 1, 2021) Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority established.

There is hereby established a political subdivision of the Commonwealth known as the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority. The Authority's exercise of powers conferred by this article shall be deemed to be the performance of an essential governmental function and matters of public necessity for which public moneys may be spent and private property acquired.

2013, cc. 57, 394, § 67-1401; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2103. (Effective October 1, 2021) Purposes; powers of Authority.

A. The Authority is established for the purposes of making the Commonwealth a national and global leader in nuclear energy and serving as an interdisciplinary study, research, and information resource for the Commonwealth on nuclear energy issues.

B. The Authority is granted all powers necessary or convenient for the carrying out of its statutory purposes, including the following rights, powers, and duties to:

1. Adopt, use, and alter at will a corporate seal;

2. Acquire, purchase, hold, use, lease, or otherwise dispose of property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein necessary or desirable for carrying out the purposes of the Authority;

3. Adopt bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs;

4. Develop and adopt a strategic plan for carrying out the purposes set out in this article;

5. Make and enter into any contract or agreement necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties, the furtherance of its purposes, and the execution of its powers under this article, including an agreement with any person or federal agency;

6. Consult with the General Assembly; federal, state, and local agencies; nonprofit organizations; private industry; and other potential developers and users of nuclear energy;

7. Promote and facilitate agreements among public and private institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth and other research entities to carry out research projects relating to nuclear energy;

8. Disseminate information and research results;

9. Identify and support, in cooperation with Virginia's nuclear entities and the public and private sectors, the development of education programs related to Virginia's nuclear industry;

10. Provide for the establishment of the Consortium by the Board as provided in § 45.2-2105;

11. Develop a policy regarding any interest in intellectual property acquired or developed by the Consortium;

12. In order to fund and support the activities of the Authority and the Consortium, apply for, solicit, and accept from any source, including any agency of the federal government, the Commonwealth, or any other state; any locality or other political subdivision; any member; or any private corporation or other entity, (i) grants, including grants made available pursuant to federal legislation; (ii) aid; or (iii) contributions of money, property, or other things of value, which shall be held, used, and applied for the purposes set out by this chapter;

13. Facilitate the collaboration of members toward obtaining grants and expending funds in accomplishing the purposes set out by this chapter;

14. Encourage, facilitate, and support the application, commercialization, and transfer of new nuclear energy technologies;

15. Provide public information and communication about nuclear energy and related educational and job opportunities;

16. Provide advice, assistance, and services to institutions of higher education and to other persons providing services or facilities for nuclear research or graduate education;

17. Foster innovative partnerships and relationships among the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth's public institutions of higher education, private companies, federal laboratories, and not-for-profit organizations to accomplish the purposes set out by this chapter; and

18. Do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers granted to it by law.

2013, cc. 57, 394, § 67-1402; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2104. (Effective October 1, 2021) Board of the Authority.

A. The Authority shall be governed by a board of directors consisting of 17 members appointed as follows:

1. The Director or his designee;

2. The President and Chief Executive Officer of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership or his designee;

3. The Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System or his designee;

4. The President of Virginia Commonwealth University or his designee;

5. The President of the University of Virginia or his designee;

6. The President of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University or his designee;

7. The President of George Mason University or his designee;

8. Two individuals, each representing a single institution of higher education in the Commonwealth that is not already represented on the Board. At least one of the institutions shall be a private institution of higher education;

9. Six individuals, each representing a single business entity located in the Commonwealth that is engaged in activities directly related to the nuclear energy industry;

10. One individual representing a nuclear energy-related nonprofit organization; and

11. One individual representing a Commonwealth-based federal research laboratory.

B. The members of the Board described in subdivisions A 1 through 7 shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office.

C. The 10 members of the Board described in subdivisions A 8 through 11 shall be appointed by the Governor. After the initial staggering of terms, such members shall be appointed for terms of four years. Vacancies in the membership of the Board shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments for the unexpired portion of the term. Members of the Board described in subdivisions A 8 through 11 may serve two successive terms on the Board.

D. Any appointment to fill a vacancy on the Board shall be made for the unexpired term of the member whose death, resignation, or removal created the vacancy.

E. Meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the chairman or any seven members. Nine members of the Board constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the Authority. An act of the majority of the members of the Board present at any regular or special meeting at which a quorum is present is an act of the Board.

F. Immediately after appointment, the members of the Board shall enter upon the performance of their duties.

G. The Board shall annually elect from among its members a chairman, a vice-chairman, and a treasurer. The Board shall also elect annually a secretary, who need not be a member of the Board, and may also elect such other subordinate officers, who need not be members of the Board, as it deems proper. The chairman, or in his absence the vice-chairman, shall preside at each meeting of the Board. In the absence of both the chairman and vice-chairman, the Board shall appoint a chairman pro tempore who shall preside at such meeting.

H. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, no officer or employee of the Commonwealth shall be deemed to have forfeited or shall forfeit his office or employment by reason of acceptance of membership on the Board or by providing service to the Authority or to the Consortium.

I. On or before November 15 of each year, the Authority shall submit its updated strategic plan, an annual summary of its activities, and recommendations for the support and expansion of the nuclear energy industry in Virginia to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, the House Committee on Labor and Commerce, and the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor.

2013, cc. 57, 394, § 67-1403; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2105. (Effective October 1, 2021) Establishment of the Consortium.

A. The Board shall provide for the formation, by January 1, 2014, of a nonstock corporation under Chapter 10 (§ 13.1-801 et seq.) of Title 13.1, not organized for profit, that shall include in its name the words "Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium" or some variation thereof that is approved by the Board.

B. The Consortium shall be established for the purpose of conducting activities useful in (i) making the Commonwealth a leader in nuclear energy; (ii) serving as an interdisciplinary study, research, and information resource for the Commonwealth on nuclear energy issues; and (iii) carrying out the provisions of this article, including raising money on behalf of the Authority in the corporate and nonprofit community and from other nonstate sources.

C. The membership of the Consortium shall be open to:

1. Public or private institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth;

2. Commonwealth-based federal research laboratories;

3. Nuclear energy-related nonprofit organizations;

4. Business entities with operating facilities located in the Commonwealth that are engaged in activities directly related to the nuclear energy industry; and

5. Other individuals or entities whose membership is approved by the board of directors of the Consortium through a process established by the bylaws of the Consortium.

D. The board of directors of the Consortium shall consist of members selected and approved by the Consortium pursuant to a process established by its bylaws.

E. The board of directors of the Consortium shall appoint an executive director to serve as the principal administrative officer of the Consortium. The executive director shall carry out the specific duties assigned to him by the board of directors and develop appropriate policies and procedures for the operation of the Consortium; employ persons and secure services as required to carry out the purposes of the Consortium; expend funds as authorized by the Authority; and accept moneys from federal or private sources on behalf of the Authority, including moneys contributed by Consortium members to the Authority, for cost-sharing on nuclear energy research or projects. The executive director and any other employee of the Consortium (i) shall be compensated in the manner provided by the board of directors of the Authority, (ii) shall not be subject to the provisions of the Virginia Personnel Act (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.), and (iii) shall not be deemed to be an officer or employee for purposes of the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.).

F. The articles of incorporation of the Consortium shall provide that upon dissolution the net assets of the Consortium shall be transferred to the Authority.

G. The Consortium shall not be deemed to be a state or governmental agency, advisory agency, public body, or agency or instrumentality for purposes of Chapter 8 (§ 2.2-800 et seq.), 18 (§ 2.2-1800 et seq.), 24 (§ 2.2-2400 et seq.), 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.), 31 (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.), 37 (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.), 38 (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.), 43 (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.), 44 (§ 2.2-4400 et seq.), 45 (§ 2.2-4500 et seq.), 46 (§ 2.2-4600 et seq.), or 47 (§ 2.2-4700 et seq.) of Title 2.2, Chapter 14 (§ 30-130 et seq.) of Title 30, or Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.) of Title 51.1.

H. The board of directors of the Consortium shall adopt, alter, and repeal bylaws governing the manner in which its business shall be transacted and the manner in which the activities of the Consortium shall be conducted.

I. The Consortium shall report on all of its nonproprietary activities at least twice a year to the Authority.

2013, cc. 57, 394, § 67-1404; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2106. (Effective October 1, 2021) Moneys of Authority.

All moneys of the Authority, from whatever source derived, shall be paid to the treasurer of the Authority. Such moneys shall be deposited in the first instance by the treasurer in one or more banks or trust companies, in one or more special accounts. All banks and trust companies are authorized to give such security for such deposits, if required by the Authority. The moneys in such accounts shall be paid out on the warrant or other orders of such persons as the Authority authorizes to execute such warrants or orders.

2013, cc. 57, 394, § 67-1405; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2107. (Effective October 1, 2021) Audits; external reviews.

A. The Auditor of Public Accounts, or his legally authorized representatives, shall annually audit the financial accounts of the Authority. The audit report and any nonproprietary information provided to the auditor in connection with the audit shall be made available to the public, upon request, in accordance with the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

B. The Authority, if it receives state funds, shall be subject to periodic external review either (i) under the provisions of the Legislative Program Review and Evaluation Act (§ 30-64 et seq.) or (ii) by an entity appointed for that purpose by the Governor.

2013, cc. 57, 394, § 67-1406; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Article 3. Exploration for Uranium Ore.

§ 45.2-2108. (Effective October 1, 2021) Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Exploration activity" means and is limited to the drilling of test holes or stratigraphic or core holes of a depth in excess of 50 feet for the purpose of determining the location, quantity, or quality of uranium ore.

"Person" means any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association, or other legal entity.

"Usable quality water" means groundwater that is used or can be used for a beneficial purpose, including a domestic, livestock, or irrigation use.

1982, c. 269, § 45.1-273; 1984, c. 590; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2109. (Effective October 1, 2021) Regulations.

The Director shall, in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), adopt regulations as may be necessary and proper to carry out the provisions of this article.

1982, c. 269, § 45.1-279; 1984, c. 590; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2110. (Effective October 1, 2021) Permit for exploration activity required; fee.

A. It is unlawful for any person to commence any exploration activity without first obtaining a permit to do so from the Director. The application for the permit shall be in a form the Director prescribes and shall be accompanied by a fee of $250 and by any other information required by this article.

B. The application for a permit to carry out exploration activity shall be accompanied by a bond, payable to the Commonwealth, with surety acceptable to the Director. The bond shall ensure compliance with the provisions of this article and any regulations adopted hereunder relating to the drilling, redrilling, plugging, or abandoning of any exploration activity. The bond shall be set by the Director in an amount deemed reasonable and necessary.

C. An initial permit shall be valid for a period of one year and may be renewed annually.

1982, c. 269, § 45.1-274; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2111. (Effective October 1, 2021) Maps or plats of proposed exploration activity area.

Before undertaking any exploration activity on any tract of land, the person proposing the exploration activity shall prepare or have prepared and file with the Director, together with the application required by § 45.2-2110, an accurate map, on a scale stated thereon, showing the location of the proposed exploration activity; the courses and distances of such activity from two permanent points or landmarks on the tract; the approximate location areas in which test holes or core or stratigraphic holes may be drilled; the name of the owner; and boundaries and acreage of the tract on which the exploration activity is to take place.

1982, c. 269, § 45.1-275; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2112. (Effective October 1, 2021) Abandoning exploration hole; affidavits required.

Within 45 days after the abandonment of any exploration hole, the permittee shall notify the Director that such exploration hole has been plugged and abandoned, giving the location of the hole. The permittee shall submit an affidavit setting forth the time and manner in which the hole was plugged and filled. One copy of the affidavit shall be retained by the permittee, one shall be sent to the State Geologist, and the third shall be sent to the Director.

1982, c. 269, § 45.1-276; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2113. (Effective October 1, 2021) Plugging.

The plugging of an exploration hole shall be as follows:

1. Each exploration hole shall be adequately plugged with cement from the bottom of the hole upward to a point three feet below plow depth. The remainder of the hole between the top of the plug and the surface shall be filled with cuttings or nontoxic material.

2. If multiple aquifers alternating usable quality water and saltwater zones, or other conditions determined by the Director to be potentially deleterious to surface water or groundwater are encountered, the conditions shall be isolated immediately by cement plugs. Each hole shall be plugged with cement to prevent water from flowing into or out of the hole or mixing within the hole. The length of the plug shall be determined by the Director on the basis of available data on the specific site.

3. Each exploration hole shall be plugged as soon as reasonably practical after drilling, unless multiple aquifers are encountered.

4. Alternative plugging procedures and materials may be utilized if the applicant demonstrates to the Director's satisfaction that the alternatives will protect groundwater and comply with the provisions of this article. In the event that a hole is more suitably plugged with a nonporous material other than cement, the material shall have characteristics at least equal to cement.

5. In the event that an exploration hole is to remain unplugged pursuant to the provisions of § 45.2-2114, the procedure contained in subdivision 2, if applicable, shall be applied and the exploration hole shall be plugged to the extent required by that subdivision.

1982, c. 269, § 45.1-277; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2114. (Effective October 1, 2021) Developing an exploration hole as a water well.

If any exploration hole drilled for the purpose of determining the location, quantity, or quality of uranium ore indicates a stratum or source of potable fresh water that could be developed pursuant to established U.S. Environmental Protection Agency safe drinking water standards for a community water system, upon the request of the owner of the property on which the exploration hole is located and following application to and approval by the Director, who shall secure concurrence from the State Department of Health, the well, in lieu of being plugged and abandoned, may be developed and completed as a water well. The development and completion of an exploration hole as a water well shall be performed in accordance with applicable state water control laws and regulations.

1982, c. 269, § 45.1-278; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2115. (Effective October 1, 2021) Right of inspection by Director.

For the purposes of carrying out the provisions of this article, the Director is hereby vested with authority to inspect at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner any area for which he has received an application for a permit, or has granted a permit, for exploration activity.

1982, c. 269, § 45.1-280; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2116. (Effective October 1, 2021) Uranium mining permit applications; uranium mining deemed to have significant effect on surface.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no application for a uranium mining permit shall be accepted by any agency of the Commonwealth until a program for permitting uranium mining is established by statute. For the purpose of construing the definition of "mining" in § 45.2-1200, uranium mining is deemed to have a significant effect on the surface.

1982, c. 269, § 45.1-283; 1983, c. 3; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2117. (Effective October 1, 2021) State and local authority.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to alter the authority of any state or local governing body, including any authority conferred under Chapter 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) of Title 15.2, relating to any matter that is the subject of this article.

1982, c. 269, § 45.1-284; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2118. (Effective October 1, 2021) Confidentiality of logs, surveys, and reports.

A. The Director shall hold confidential all logs, surveys, plats, and reports filed under this article by any person engaged in the exploration for uranium for a period of two years after the completion of the exploratory activities.

B. Upon written request by any person engaged in exploration for uranium, the Director shall hold confidential all logs, surveys, plats, and reports filed under this chapter for an additional two-year period. The Director shall grant such request if the requesting party certifies that he considers all such information to be of a proprietary nature relating to his competitive rights. The requesting party may renew his request every two years.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny the State Geologist access to any log, survey, plat, or report filed under this article. However, the State Geologist shall hold such information confidential to the same extent as the Director.

1982, c. 269, § 45.1-285; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-2119. (Effective October 1, 2021) Civil penalty.

A. Any person who violates any provision of this article, or who fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with any regulation adopted by the Director or final order of a court lawfully issued, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each violation. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense. All civil penalties shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Minerals Reclamation Fund pursuant to § 45.2-1234.

B. The Director may restrain violations of this article in accordance with the provisions of § 45.2-1608.

1982, c. 269, § 45.1-282; 1984, c. 590; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.