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Commonwealth's Counties

Municipal renewable energy bill powers forward

Delegate Kathy Tran’s municipal renewable energy bill, HB 2792 (Tran), was unanimously passed out of subcommittee on January 24 and moves on to the House Commerce and Labor Committee.

The bill establishes a six-year pilot program that allows a locality to use excess energy generated by a renewable energy project to be credited towards electric bills for other municipal accounts. Under the program a county could install solar panels or wind turbines “… located on airports, landfills, parking lots, parks, post-mine land, or a reservoir that is owned, operated, or leased by the municipality” and use excess energy generated at the facility to be credited to other metered accounts. The result will be a reduction in the amount of electricity for which the county is billed by the utility.

HB 2792 was the product of months of hard work between Delegate Tran, Dominion Energy, Appalachian Power, the Virginia Association of Counties, and several localities. VACo was pleased to support HB 2792 when it is heard next week by the House Commerce and Labor Committee, and will continue to speak in favor of the bill as it moves on.

The Senate counterpart to HB 2792, SB 1779 (Ebbin), was referred to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and will be heard on Monday, January 28.

VACo Contacts: Chris McDonald, Esq. and Joe Lerch, AICP

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