Virginia Governor Signs Scaled Down Bill Allowing Limited Pilot For Handful Of Customers To Aggregate Non-contiguous Sites To Take Competitive Retail Supply
April 13, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has approved HB 889, which allows a handful of customers to aggregate non-contiguous sites for the purposes of reaching the current 5 MW threshold allowing customers to take electric choice without having to purchase 100% renewable supply as a condition of electric choice.
Under Virginia's statutory regime prior to this change, a customer could not aggregate non-contiguous sites to reach the 5 MW electric choice threshold.
As previously reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com, the bill as originally passed by the House would have completely eliminated a contiguous site requirement for a single customer to aggregate to the 5 MW threshold allowing a customer to take retail electric choice, provided that the non-contiguous aggregated customer's supply met the state's minimum renewable energy percentage
As previously reported, the Senate amended the bill (with such amendments also later adopted by the House), and the final bill now authorizes, on a "pilot" basis at Dominion Virginia Power only (not Appalachian Power), a handful of specific customers, with participation capped at 200 MW, to aggregate their non-contiguous loads to a 5 MW threshold to take competitive electric supply -- with such customers being those who previously filed such aggregation applications with the State Corporation Commission.
It is understood that the bill applies to eight customers. Such customers who have applied to the SCC for non-contiguous aggregation to take competitive supply have included Walmart, Costco, Target, Harris Teeter, Kroger, Safeway, and Cox. During a discussion of the substitute, it was represented that the 200 MW cap represents the load of customers who would be eligible under the bill
The now-chaptered bill approved by the Governor provides that:
§ 1. That the State Corporation Commission (the Commission) shall conduct a pilot program under which two or more nonresidential customers that, as of February 25, 2019, had filed applications seeking to aggregate their load pursuant to subdivision A 4 of § 56-577 of the Code of Virginia within the service territory of a Phase II Utility, as that term is defined in subsection A of § 56-585.1 of the Code of Virginia, shall be permitted to purchase electric energy from any supplier of electric energy licensed to sell electric energy within the Commonwealth, subject to the following terms, conditions, and restrictions:
a. A pilot program shall be conducted within the certified service territory of the Phase II Utility in which such nonresidential customers are located.
b. The aggregated load participating in the pilot program shall not exceed 200 megawatts.
c. All customers participating in the pilot program shall be subject in all respects to the provisions of subdivision A 3 of § 56-577 of the Code of Virginia (with participation in this pilot program being deemed to satisfy subdivision A 4 of § 56-577 of the Code of Virginia), with the load set forth in each application being treated as a single, individual customer for purposes of said subdivision, and shall submit an annual report to the Commission by March 31 each year to demonstrate that, for the preceding calendar year, such load continued to meet the demand limitations of subdivision A 3 of § 56-577 of the Code of Virginia.
§ 2. The Commission shall review the pilot program established pursuant to § 1 of this act in 2022.