Bill expanding municipal net metering for solar installations is limited to Fairfax County

March 16, 2020

HB 572 (Keam) and SB 710 (McClellan) as introduced would have allowed any locality to install up to a 5 megawatt (MW) solar, or wind, electric generating facility, and use all the electricity generated to credit any metered accounts of the locality regardless of whether such accounts serve building or facilities “… located at the same site where the electric generation facility is located or at a site contiguous thereto.” This aggregation of locality accounts for credit is commonly referred to as “municipal net-metering.” The legislation also allowed the facility to be owned and operated by a third-party power producer under contract with the locality. Such arrangements are more commonly known as power purchase agreements or PPAs.

The final legislation being sent to the Governor for consideration limited the scope of this proposal so that it only applies to a locality within the Dominion Energy Service Territory that is located within Planning District 8 with a population more than 1 million. Only Fairfax County meets these criteria for application.

Under a municipal net-metering pilot program approved by the General Assembly in 2019 any locality may install up to a 2 MW renewable energy generating facility so long as the aggregate of such facilities does not exceed 25 MW within the Dominion Service Territory, or 10 MW in the Appalachian Power Company (APCo) Service Territory. The pilot program does not allow for PPA arrangements.

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

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