In the last week, Virginia legislature approved a renewable energy plan in order to reduce carbon reduction. With the latest legislation, Virginia will spearhead in regulating climates risks among the US states.
Richard Sullivan Jr allegedly sponsored the House version of the bill. The bill is now expected to be signed by Gov. Ralph Northam.
While speaking on the latest announcement, the Southern Environmental Law Center remarked, “This is a major step forward for Virginia, a state that has been reluctant in past years to let go of dirty coal plants and embrace a more modern, clean-energy future.”
As reported by the Washington Post, the Clean Economy Act is bound to create several employment opportunities especially in the wind and solar industry. This is mainly because state’s utility companies are mandated by the act to use only carbon-free electricity by 2050.
Furthermore, the latest legislation also requires the state’s two largest utilities- Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power Company to retire all of their coal and oil burning thermal generating plants by 2024, along with abiding to the energy-efficiency standards by 2025.
Furthermore, the law also underlines the importance of ending electricity generation from burning wood pellets by 2028. Reports suggest, the state’s Department of Environmental Quality will also seek regulations which will further eliminate all in-state carbon emissions from power plants by 2050.
The Clean Economy Act will in addition also help to foster the installation of rooftop solar, this will further draw attention to financing plans which do not require up-front installation costs.
Sources further suggest, Dominion Energy is not entirely supportive of the transition to clean energy, especially rooftop solar. Furthermore, tech companies planning to set up data centers in Virginia have been critical of Dominion Energy for its unwillingness to produce clean energy.
In the wake of the new law, the State Corporation Commission will be able to control and manage Dominion’s coal fired generating plants. “The utility has an obligation to its shareholders. We have an obligation to the ratepayers,” explained state senator Richard Stuart.