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SB 998 Electric utilities; offshore wind development.

Introduced by: L. Louise Lucas | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles


Electric utilities; offshore wind development. Provides that the construction or purchase by a public utility of one or more offshore wind generation facilities located off the Commonwealth's Atlantic shoreline or in federal waters and interconnected directly into the Commonwealth, with an aggregate capacity of up to 5,200 megawatts, is in the public interest. The measure provides that construction by Dominion Energy Virginia of one or more new utility-owned and utility-operated generating facilities utilizing energy derived from offshore wind and located off the Commonwealth's Atlantic shoreline, with an aggregate rated capacity between 2,500 megawatts and 3,000 megawatts, along with electrical transmission or distribution facilities associated therewith for interconnection is in the public interest. The measure provides that the State Corporation Commission will determine the reasonableness and prudence of associated costs and will presume such costs to be reasonable and prudent if certain criteria are met. The measure requires the Commission to permit a portion of the nameplate capacity of any such facility, in the aggregate, to be allocated to (i) certain commercial and industrial customers or (ii) qualifying large general service customers, provided that no more than 10 percent of the offshore wind facility's capacity is allocated to qualifying large general service customers. The measure provides that such costs shall be allocated to all customers of the utility in the Commonwealth as a non-bypassable charge, irrespective of the generation supplier of any such customer except for customers who are eligible for a Percentage of Income Payment Program, certain commercial and industrial customers, and qualifying large general service customers. The measure requires the utility to submit a plan to the Commission that includes the following considerations: (a) options for utilizing local workers; (b) the economic development benefits of the project for the Commonwealth, including capital investments and job creation; (c) consultation with the Commonwealth's Chief Workforce Development Officer, the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, on opportunities to advance the Commonwealth's workforce and economic development goals, including furtherance of apprenticeship and other workforce training programs; and (d) giving priority to the hiring, apprenticeship, and training of veterans, local workers, and workers from historically economically disadvantaged communities. The measure provides that any such project is required to include an environmental and fisheries mitigation plan submitted to the Commission for the construction and operation of such offshore wind facilities. The bill is identical to HB 1664 and SB 860.