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Offshore Wind Projects Receive Boost from Massachusetts and Biden Administration

LCG, March 31, 2021--The Governor of Massachusetts signed legislation last Friday that authorizes the state to direct utilities to purchase an additional 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy by 2027.

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NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada Transmission Project Approved by PUCN

LCG, March 25, 2021--The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) on Monday approved proceeding with NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada transmission and renewable energy initiative. NV Energy's planned investment in Greenlink is over $2.5 billion.

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Industry News

Virginia's Governor Signs Clean Energy Legislation

LCG, April 14, 2020--The Governor of Virginia announced Sunday that he is signing the Virginia Clean Economy Act and amending the Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act that requires Virginia to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

"These new clean energy laws propel Virginia to leadership among the states in fighting climate change," said the Governor. "They advance environmental justice and help create clean energy jobs. In Virginia, we are proving that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand."

The Virginia Clean Economy Act was passed as House Bill 1526 and Senate Bill 851. The Act incorporates clean energy plans that the Governor issued in an executive order last September. The law establishes renewable portfolio standards (RPS) for Virginia that includes requiring Dominion Energy Virginia to be 100 percent carbon-free by 2045 and Appalachian Power to be 100 percent carbon-free by 2050. Furthermore, the Act requires nearly all coal-fired plants to close by the end of 2024.

The renewable requirements in the Act provide that, prior to the end of 2034, up to 5,200 MW of offshore wind generation is "in the public interest." The Act also establishes that 16,100 MW of solar and onshore wind is "in the public interest" and requires Virginia's largest energy companies to install or acquire more than 3,100 MW of energy storage capacity.

In any application before the State Corporation Commission to construct a new generating facility, the utility must include the social cost of carbon, as determined by the Commission, and the Commission may adopt any rules it deems necessary to determine the social cost of carbon.

The Act declares energy efficiency pilot programs to be "in the public interest." It creates a new program to reduce the energy burden for low-income customers, and it requires the Department of Social Services and the Department of Housing and Community Development to convene stakeholders to develop recommendations to implement this program. The Act sets an energy efficiency resource standard, requiring third party review of whether energy companies meet savings goals.

The Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act was passed as House Bill 981 and Senate Bill 1027. The Act establishes a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions from power plants, in compliance with the RGGI. The Department of Environmental Quality will establish and operate an auction program to sell allowances into a market-based trading program.

The Governor stated, "By joining RGGI, Virginia will take part in a proven, market-based program for reducing carbon pollution in a manner that protects consumers. I am proposing important refinements and I look forward to signing it into law soon."
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