As a result of certain resolutions that were considered in this year’s General Assembly session, the Virginia State Senate requested that the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) study the costs and benefits of distributed solar power generation and net metering.
The DMME combined the required Stakeholder Group on Distributed Solar Energy and Net Metering with the Small Solar Working Group (SSWG), which was established in 2013 at the request of stakeholders and with DEQ Director David Paylor’s support. It is now comprised of about 50 representatives from the solar industry, utilities, conservation groups, local government, state agencies, and academia. The goal of the Stakeholder Group is informally and collaboratively to seek common ground in encouraging solar development in Virginia, in keeping with the Commonwealth’s energy policy.
DEQ and DMME staff members serve as neutral facilitators and do not take positions, lobby on behalf of the SSWG, or operate in their regulatory capacity. The first meeting of the combined group was April 28 in Charlottesville. I am honored to have been asked to be on the Stakeholder Group and hope that my long experience in the fields of energy regulation, renewable and solar power generation, and the structuring of complex commercial transactions can be of assistance to this important discussion and study.