Legislative Proposal from the Virginia Solar Collaborative Canon facility in Gloucester: more than 2,000 solar panels with a generating capacity of more than 500 kW Raise the net-metering limit to 2,000 kW (from 500 kW) for nonresidential customers under the net-metering law in place Net Metering in Virginia – how it works • Install meter that measures 2-way flow of electricity. • Customers are charged only for the “net” power that they consume from the utility that has accumulated over a designated period; or • If their renewable energy-generating systems make more electricity than is consumed, they may be credited or paid for the excess electricity contributed to the grid over that same period. Relevant parts of the law and regulations • "Renewable energy" includes solar, wind, hydro-power, biomass, energy from waste, landfill gas, municipal solid waste, wave motion, tides, and geothermal power • To be eligible the renewable generation must be “intended primarily to offset all or part of the customer’s own electricity requirements” • The utility may offer the choice of an account credit in lieu of a direct payment. • The customer owns the RECs (renewable energy certificates) Potential benefits to localities by raising the eligibility cap on nonresidential net metering • Increases the pool of renewable energy projects that could utilize netmetering • Provides greater financial incentive for building on-site renewable energy generation ODU Student Rec Center: 600 solar panels with a generating capacity of approx. 125 kW Virtual (aka aggregate) Municipal Net Metering SB 350 (Edwards) continued in 2014 General Assembly Authorizes local governments to aggregate the electric load of their governmental buildings, facilities, and any other governmental operations for the purpose of net energy metering from a renewable energy generating facility Possibilities other than solar… • Wind turbines • Landfill gas • Sewage treatment plants HRSD Atlantic Treatment Plant Location of two, 1100 kW methane engine driven generators Legislative Proposal from Virginia PACE Coalition (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Allow for PACE liens to have a status on par with tax lien assessments How does PACE work? • Under Virginia law localities have the authority create a clean energy loan program as a means of fostering the installation of renewable energy systems and/or energy efficiency improvements. • Repayment on loans can be combined with billings for water and sewer charges or real property tax assessments and is applicable to both residential and commercial property. • Allows for the cost of the energy improvements to travel with the property if it is sold over the period of the loan financing, thereby removing a key barrier for investment in renewable energy and energy efficient systems. Hydraulic Fracturing – Taylorsville Basin • Estimated 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas liquids - 37 million barrels • 2½ times Virginia’s total annual consumption of natural gas • By comparison there is an estimated 410 trillion cubic feet in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia Source: USGS Shore Exploration & Production Company Texas-based w/office in Bowling Green More than 84,000 acres in leases to drill for natural gas Essex County, Westmoreland County & Town of Kilmarnock have passed resolutions asking the Governor, Secretary of Commerce and Trade, and Secretary of Natural Resources to complete a joint report that looks at environmental, transportation, economic and regulatory issues pertaining to oil and gas drilling in the Tidewater region. County Caroline Essex King and Queen King George Westmoreland Total: Acres Leased 40,733.49 13,338.42 6,010.42 10,443.63 13,864.86 84,390.81 % of Total Leased Acres 48.3% 15.8% 7.1% 12.4% 16.4% % of County 11.6% 7.8% 2.9% 8.5% 8.4% 8.3% of fivecounty area Potomac Water Aquifer Taylorsville Basin USGS/DEQ aquifer cross-section from Fredericksburg through King George, Westmoreland, Northumberland, and Accomack Counties. SB 48 (Stuart) – Failed in 2014 General Assembly • The bill as originally drafted would have prohibited drilling for oil and gas in the Easter Virginia Groundwater Management Area • Amended to state applications for drilling cannot be approved by Virginia DMME until the review, and any necessary amendments to the water quality regulations, has been completed • Passed Senate and failed in House Commerce & Labor Committee Water Quality Funding The Rising Costs of Stormwater Pollution in Virginia VA Stormwater Local Assistance Fund – SLAF • SLAF grants provide 50% matching funds to qualifying locality projects that reduce stormwater pollution. The fund was created and seeded with $35 million in bond proceeds by the 2013 General Assembly. • Local Governments awarded $22.9 million for stormwater improvements in FY 14. Stormwater Local Assistance Fund Grants to localities for stormwater improvements HB 5002 (House Budget) Allocates $30 million in GF dollars and $8 million in bonds in FY15 for the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF). McAuliffe Budget Authorizes $20 million in bonding authority for SLAF grants in FY16. SB 5003 (Senate Budget) Authorizes $20 million in bonding authority for SLAF grants in FY 15 Local Priorities Losing Ground Major GF Budget Drivers FY 2006-16 160.0% 145.4% 140.0% 120.0% 96.7% 100.0% 80.0% 60.0% 48.5% 40.0% All Programs 25.1% 21.3% 20.0% 19.1% 12.4% 0.0% -2.0% -20.0% K-12 Education Higher Education Behavioral Health Corrections Source: http://www.dpb.virginia.gov/forms/20131216-1/BudgetDirectorsPresentation12-16-2013.pdf Medicaid Debt Service All Other 15 Other Budget Items … Helpful DEQ is authorized to use SLAF funds to develop better data to support local stormwater programs. Troubling Requires every locality with a SWM utility fee to report to DEQ: • the programs funded by the fees; and • the expected pollutants removed by each program. City of Roanoke suggested amendment to policy statement HYDRAULIC FRACTURING Advances in technology for the extraction of natural gas known as “hydraulic fracturing” has the potential to tap vast reserves in what are known as the Marcellus shale and Taylorsville Basin deposits. Concerns about how the process of hydraulic fracturing, and the often undisclosed chemical mixtures used, could impact both public and private groundwater supplies have been raised both regionally and nationally. Additionally, evidence supports a probable link between the increased incidence of earthquakes and other seismic activity in previously seismically benign or inactive zones where the injection of wastewaters generated by hydraulic fracturing has taken place. VML supports a state regulatory program that addresses these concerns while protecting the authority of local governments to regulate this type of mining activity through its land use ordinances. City of Roanoke – Floating Trash Booms Supports allowing localities the right to deploy water quality improvement measures in waters within their jurisdictional boundaries, in instances where no adverse impacts to the watershed or the navigability of the waterway can be readily documented. This would mean no prior review or approval by VMRC, DEQ, and/or the US Army Corps of Engineers. This has become a significant impediment in ongoing efforts to pilot test the deployment of a simple floating trash boom across a section of the Roanoke River or Tinker Creek. Where this practice has been done elsewhere, the collections of trash, litter, and other debris has proven substantial, resulting both esthetic and biochemical improvements, as well as a significant public education and awareness resource. At present this proposed practice is given the same prior review and approval treatment as substantial in-water work projects like dredging, bridge abutment construction, channel alterations, and the like.