Dominion loses solar case at Virginia Supreme Court
Court upholds customers’ right to buy renewable energy
Richmond, VA—The Virginia Supreme Court today issued a decision to protect the right of Virginia companies to purchase 100 percent renewable energy, a decision that Dominion was attempting to overturn.
“The Virginia Supreme Court’s decision today highlights the importance of renewable energy in the Commonwealth’s future,” said Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Will Cleveland. “Time and again, we’ve seen Dominion throw up road blocks to prevent customers from directly accessing renewable energy. The Virginia Supreme Court today made clear that Dominion cannot control or impede the renewable energy industry, which is adding jobs faster than almost any other industry in the nation. If customers want clean energy, they have a right to get it, regardless of what the utilities say.”
The decision Dominion was attempting to overturn was a State Corporation Commission ruling that allowed big businesses or box stores, those that typically use more electricity than small customers, to seek out non-utility power providers who offer 100 percent renewable energy without receiving a time penalty.
Normally, large customers could buy electricity from a provider other than their utility but, if they wanted to return to their utility, they would be required to provide 5 years’ advance notice.
The Virginia Supreme Court decision today confirmed that when large customers want to buy 100 percent renewable energy, the five-year notice provision does not apply.
The State Corporation Commission, Direct Energy, and SELC, on behalf of Appalachian Voices, joined together to defend the commission’s ruling.
For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With over 70 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region.www.SouthernEnvironment.org