RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam and his office introduced Virginia’s 2018 Energy Plan on Tuesday, which they considered a strategic vision for the Commonwealth’s energy policy over the next 10 years.
“The clean energy sector has the power to create new business opportunities, expand customer access to renewable energy, and spark the high-demand jobs of the 21st century,” said Governor Northam in his office’s release that broke down the aspirations of his administration to lead Virginia toward clean and renewable energy.
The plan builds upon implementation of the Grid Transformation and Security Act (Senate Bill 966), which Governor Northam signed into law earlier this year.
“Virginia can shift to a more modern electric grid that is reliable, affordable, resilient, and environmentally responsible—and the Commonwealth can lead this critical industry as a result. This plan sets an ambitious path forward for Virginia, and I am confident we will charge ahead towards progress over the course of my administration, added Northam.
The new plan also calls for Virginia to work in expanding its solar and wind programs. It will tie into the energy plan’s initiative for 3,000 megawatts (MW) of solar and onshore wind to be deployed by 2022, 2,000 MW of offshore wind to be deployed by 2028, and for Virginia’s utilities to collectively invest $115 million per year in energy efficiency programs.
“Virginia has significant potential to create new jobs as the energy sector grows and evolves,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This Energy Plan will help guide the Commonwealth to expand and diversify our energy resources while building upon the economic development potential of the industry.”
Among other recommendations, the plan calls for a comprehensive grid modernization planning process to facilitate the implementation of Senate Bill 966.
Other topics in the plan include, developing new solar purchase options for corporate customers and small businesses, increasing energy efficiency financing opportunities, establishing electric vehicle targets, and working with stakeholders to evaluate energy storage options.
The plan also recommends setting lead-by-example targets for Virginia’s state agencies, including a 16 percent renewable procurement target and a 20 percent energy efficiency target.
To see Virginia’s full 2018 Energy Plan, click here.