SELC fights back against Dominion limits on clean energy access in VA

Installations of utility-scale solar, like this one in North Carolina, continue to increase across the Southeast. (© Alice Keeney)

As Dominion Energy continues to try reducing access to renewable energy from other providers, SELC weighed in against their latest attempt to expand their monopoly.

The question before the Virginia Supreme Court concerns the very narrow circumstances when large power users can contract with third-party providers, other than the local utility, for clean, renewable energy like solar or wind.

Currently, there are 3 ways customers can shop for alternative providers:

  1. Customers with peak demand above 5 MW can shop for any type of energy, but must give 5 years’ notice to their utility before returning.
  2. Customers with peak demand below 5 MW can petition the Virginia State Corporations Commission for permission to aggregate their demand and thus shop as if they were a greater than 5 MW customer.
  3. Customers may shop for 100 percent renewable energy, unless their current utility offers a state-approved tariff for 100 percent renewable energy.

Last year, one energy-provider, Direct Energy, asked the Virginia State Corporations Commission for clarity on how these regulations apply to new customers. The commission ruled that the 5MW+ power customers would not be required to give five year’s notice under the provision allowing customers to shop for renewable-only energy. Dominion appealed this ruling, which led to SELC intervening on behalf of Appalachian Voices.

SELC investigated the existing statues and the plain reading of them is clear: Option 1 does not in any way limit large customers’ ability to shop under Option 3.

Tuesday, SELC filed a brief with the court to this effect, also highlighting the state’s legislative record supporting this position.

More News

SELC op-ed: Virginians deserved better from senators on electric rates

SELC Senior Attorney Will Cleveland says what every Dominion customer felt as we saw our energy company and our state senators crushing every cha...

Frontier Logistics agrees to $1.2 million settlement in pellet-pollution lawsuit

Frontier Logistics has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged the company spilled plastic pellets from its former facility a...

Great hikes from the heart of the Southern Appalachian Mountains

Aside from their boundless beauty and opportunity, one of the most magnificent things about our American national forests is our shared responsib...

Hydrogeologic report warns of pipeline threats to Memphis drinking water source

A hydrogeologic report presented to Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) warns that the Byhalia crude oil pipeline proposed by Valero Energy Corp....

Landmark clean transportation bills advance in Virginia

Transportation is the largest source of carbon pollution in Virginia, as it is across the South. People drive over 230 million miles every day in...

Tennessee Congressman urges White House to rescind Memphis pipeline permit

Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) wrote to President Biden urging that he direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rescind its recently issued na...

More Stories