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2020 SESSION

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Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor
Subcommittee Energy

Spruill (Chair), Norment, Newman, Lucas, Marsden

Date of Meeting: January 13, 2020
Time and Place: Upon Adjournment of Senate Commerce and Labor / Senate Room A

S.B. 94

Patron: Favola

Virginia Energy Plan; Commonwealth Energy Policy. States that the Commonwealth Energy Policy shall include (i) establishing greenhouse gas emissions reduction standards across all sectors of Virginia's economy that target net zero carbon emissions by mid-century; (ii) enacting mandatory clean energy standards and overall strategies for reaching zero carbon in the electric power sector by 2040; (iii) incorporating requirements for technical, policy, and economic analyses and assessments that identify pathways to zero carbon that maximize Virginia's economic development and create quality jobs; and (iv) minimizing the negative impacts of climate change and the energy transition on disadvantaged communities and prioritizing investment in these areas. The measure requires the Virginia Energy Plan to be prepared in consultation with a stakeholder group that includes representatives of consumer and environmental organizations. The measure also requires that the Virginia Energy Plan identify actions over a 10-year period consistent with the goal of the Commonwealth Energy Policy to achieve, no later than 2050, a net-zero carbon energy economy for all sectors, including electricity, transportation, building, and industrial sectors.

A BILL to amend and reenact 67-102 and 67-201 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Commonwealth Energy Policy and Virginia Energy Plan.

20100670D

S.B. 504

Patron: Petersen

Virginia Energy Plan; covenants regarding solar power; reasonable restrictions. Provides that a restriction on solar energy collection devices is unreasonable if it increases the cost of the solar energy collection device by $1,000 over the cost originally proposed or causes a decrease in production or estimated production of more than 10 percent compared with the design as originally proposed. The bill also clarifies that any state or local ordinances regarding historic preservation take precedence.

A BILL to amend and reenact 67-701 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia Energy Plan; covenants regarding solar power; reasonable restrictions.

20102679D

S.B. 549

Patron: Newman

Nuclear energy; strategic plan. Directs the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, and the Secretary of Education to work in coordination with the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority to develop a strategic plan for the role of nuclear energy as part of the Commonwealth's overall strategy for moving toward renewable and carbon-free energy. The plan shall be completed by October 1, 2020, and updated every four years thereafter.

A BILL amend and reenact 67-200 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Title 67 a chapter numbered 17, consisting of a section numbered 67-1700, relating to nuclear energy; strategic plan.

20102786D

S.B. 782

Patron: Saslaw

Undergrounding electric transmission lines; pilot program. Specifies that one of the two projects that may be included in the pilot program for the undergrounding of electric transmission lines shall be for the relocation or conversion of an existing 230-kilovolt overhead line to an underground line. The measure provides that such a project may be approved if the estimated additional cost of placing the line, in whole or in part, underground does not exceed $40 million or, if greater than $40 million, the cost does not exceed 2.5 times the costs of placing the same line overhead, which costs are borne by all of the utility's ratepayers through a rate adjustment clause. Currently the cost of such a project is ineligible if it exceeds 2.5 times the cost of placing the same line overhead. The measure provides that such a project may be approved for participation in the pilot program if its primary need is related to the economic development priorities and the comprehensive plan of the governing body of the locality in which at least a portion of line will be placed. The measure exempts a project that satisfies the criteria for participation in the pilot project from the requirement that the State Corporation Commission find that the transmission line is needed. The measure adds that the pilot program is created to further understanding of the benefits of undergrounding existing electric transmission lines to promote economic development.

A BILL to amend and reenact 56-585.1:5 of the Code of Virginia, relating to electric utility regulation; underground electric transmission line pilot program.

20102023D

S.B. 784

Patron: Saslaw

Transmission lines; relocation and undergrounding. Requires that any transmission line of 230 kilovolts or less that is proposed to connect to a proposed new substation that has received local final development plan approval be placed underground if (i) such line would extend from an existing substation that will be powered by a transmission line of 230 kilovolts or less, (ii) such line received a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Commission to be placed underground prior to December 31, 2018; (iii) the portion of such line between the existing substation and the proposed new substation is not more than 4,500 linear feet; and (iv) the total cost of undergrounding the proposed relocated transmission line does not exceed $40 million. The bill requires that existing overhead transmission lines that meet such criteria be replaced and relocated with a new underground transmission line and that the location of the new underground transmission line be consistent with the comprehensive plan and the economic development priorities of the governing body of the locality in which the new underground transmission line is to be placed. The bill has an expiration date of December 31, 2021.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 56-585.1:11, relating to transmission lines; relocation and undergrounding.

20102022D

S.B. 817

Patron: Lewis

Nuclear energy; considered a clean energy source. Provides that for the purposes of the Commonwealth Energy Policy, in any clean energy initiative or carbon-free energy initiative undertaken, overseen, regulated, or permitted by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, Department, nuclear energy shall be considered to be a clean energy source.

A BILL to amend and reenact 67-200 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Chapter 1 of Title 67 a section numbered 67-104, relating to nuclear energy; treatment of, compared to treatment of renewable energy.

20105123D

S.B. 828

Patron: Lewis

Carbon-free energy and clean energy. Provides that "carbon-free energy" or "clean energy", as used in the Code of Virginia, each means electric energy generated from a source that does not emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during the process of generating the electric energy, including electric energy generated by the conversion of sunlight, wind, falling water, wave motion, tides, geothermal or nuclear energy.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 1-208.1, relating to the definitions of carbon-free energy and clean energy.

20103852D