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Virginia Denies Appalachian Power's Proposed Renewable Energy Tariff (Approval Would Have Triggered Termination of Choice For Certain Customers)

September 18, 2017

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Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • ring@energychoicematters.com

The Virginia SCC has denied the application of Appalachian Power Company to institute a voluntary renewable energy rider, designated Rider REO

APCo asserted that Rider REO is a voluntary rider designed to allow participating customers to purchase their full requirements from renewable energy generators, and that as a result, participating customers will purchase, "electric energy provided 100 percent from renewable energy," as set forth in Code § 56-577 A 5. That statutory provision allows retail choice for customers who take a 100% renewable energy product from a competitive supplier, but only if the utility is not offering such product under an approved tariff.

The SCC ruled that APCo has not shown that Rider REO is just and reasonable

The SCC cited the finding of a hearing examiner who has concluded, "[o]ther than asserting that the Rider REO rate is voluntary and cost-based (and likely to come down with the addition of new resources), the Company made no effort to establish the reasonableness of its proposed Rider REO rate (equating to $0.08961 per kilowatt hour)."

Other parties in the case had objected to the costs of Rider REO as excessive compared to other renewable energy options

The SCC denied APCo's request for the matter to be remanded for the utility to show that the rider is just and reasonable, as the SCC said that all participants were provided the opportunity to litigate fully the petition filed by APCo

The Commission's denial does not preclude APCo from subsequently applying for a new tariff for electric energy provided 100% from renewable energy.

Ron Cerniglia, Director of Corporate & Regulatory Affairs at Direct Energy, praised the SCC's decision in a statement:

"Direct Energy applauds the decision by the Hearing Examiner and SCC to reject APCo’s third attempt to obtain approval of a green product offering. In this proceeding and applicable in the pending proposal by Dominion Virginia Power, families and businesses should have the opportunity to shop among many competitive offerings and not be limited to one utility’s product. This decision will also help spur economic growth in Virginia by attracting businesses who want access to renewable energy, by creating more jobs, and via an expanded tax base from renewable energy projects like those involving wind and solar." -- Ron Cerniglia, Director of Corporate & Regulatory Affairs at Direct Energy

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