Virginia state has unveiled a new energy plan targeting an installation of 5GW of renewable energy in the next ten years.


Image: Virginia launches new energy plan. Photo: Courtesy of worradmu/

This new energy plan, the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan, released by Governor Ralph Northam will broadly focus on modernizing electric grid and promoting new technologies, with goals set for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency and electric vehicles.

The new plan calls for installation of 3GW of solar and onshore wind by 2022 and 2GW in offshore wind by 2028.

It also recommends Virginia’s state agencies to target 16% of renewable energy procurement and 20% energy efficiency.

The new plan builds upon implementation of the Grid Transformation and Security Act, which the Governor signed into law earlier this year.

Besides implementing solar and wind, the plan also recommends Virginia’s utilities to invest $115m per year in energy efficiency programs. Overall, it outlines $1.1bn investment in energy efficiency programs by investor-owned utilities. .

The recommendations also include increasing utility-funded energy efficiency programs to $100 million per year for Dominion Energy and $15 million per year for Appalachian Power Company.

Governor Northam said: “The clean energy sector has the power to create new business opportunities, expand customer access to renewable energy, and spark the high-demand jobs of the 21st century.

“Virginia can shift to a more modern electric grid that is reliable, affordable, resilient, and environmentally responsible and the Commonwealth can lead this critical industry as a result. This plan sets an ambitious path forward for Virginia, and I am confident we will charge ahead towards progress over the course of my administration.”

Besides renewables and energy efficiency, the plan also has scope for energy storage. Some of the ideas include pumped-hydro storage, lithium-ion batteries and solid-state batteries. But, it has no specific details about the capacity of energy storage.

Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said: “Virginia has significant potential to create new jobs as the energy sector grows and evolves. This Energy Plan will help guide the Commonwealth to expand and diversify our energy resources while building upon the economic development potential of the industry.”

In September, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Senate Bill 100, authored by Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Kevin de León, setting a 100% clean electricity goal for the state by 2045.