Virginia regulators direct utilities to file renewable portfolio standard compliance plans

Dominion and Appalachian must make RPS filings by November 2

On July 10, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (“Commission” or “SCC”) opened two new dockets to evaluate Dominion Energy’s (“Dominion”) and Appalachian Power’s (“APCo”) plans to comply with the mandatory renewable portfolio standard (“RPS”) established by the Virginia Clean Economy Act (“VCEA”). The VCEA, 2020 House Bill 1526, became effective on July 1 and requires Dominion and APCo to meet an increasing percentage of their electricity sales from renewable resources. By 2045, 100% of Dominion’s energy sales must come from renewable resources. APCo must reach 100% by 2050.

Section 56-585.5 D 4 of the VCEA requires Dominion and APCo to make annual filings that describe each utility’s plan to meet the statutory renewable energy requirements. The SCC must review the RPS plans and determine whether they are “reasonable” in light of several criteria, including whether each utility’s proposal will result in carbon emissions reductions and fuel savings.

The SCC’s order states that “the RPS Filings may also contain utility requests for (i) approval to construct such facilities pursuant to subsection D of § 56-580 of the Code, and (ii) for approval or update of a rate adjustment clause pursuant to subdivision A 6 of § 56-585.1 to recover the costs of such facilities.” The SCC also stated that the RPS filings must include each utility’s “plans to meet the energy storage project targets established in subsection E of § 56-585.5.”

In addition to annual renewable targets, Section 56-585.5 E of the VCEA requires Dominion and APCo, to construct or acquire a total of 3,100 MW of new storage resources between 2020 and 2035. The law requires Dominion to construct or acquire 2,700 MW of new storage resources, while APCo must construct or acquire 400 MW.

The SCC’s July 10 order directs each utility to file its first RPS compliance plan on or before November 2. The SCC has not yet entered a procedural schedule or invited public participation in these dockets.

These proceedings were docketed in Case Nos. PUR-2020-00134 and PUR-2020-00135.

Please contact regulatory attorneys Will Reisinger or Matt Gooch should you have any questions about these cases or the Virginia Clean Economy Act. ReisingerGooch PLC provides regulatory and transactional counsel to clean energy companies and public interest organizations, online at