McAuliffe signs clean energy jobs legislation
With Earth Day as a backdrop, Gov. Terry McAuliffe performed a ceremonial signing Wednesday of several bills designed to expand clean energy jobs in Virginia.
The ceremony took place at Capital One’s Meadowville Technology Park in Chester.
“Energy is a strategic growth sector both in Virginia and the entire United States providing good jobs and good wages,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones, said in a statement. “Because of the Commonwealth’s significant assets, we have tremendous opportunities in this important arena. This legislative package provides us with the tools we need to capitalize on these opportunities.”
The bi-partisan legislation includes:
· Virginia Solar Development Authority (House Bill 2267 and Senate Bill 1099): Creates the Virginia Solar Energy Development Authority to facilitate and support the development of the solar industry and solar-powered facilities in the commonwealth.
· Net Energy Metering (HB 1950 and SB1395) – Doubles allowable generation capacity of a solar net energy metering facility.
· Utility-scale Solar (HB 2237) – Authorizes utility cost recovery for construction or purchase of a solar facility with capacity over 1MW and establishes that 500MW of solar generation are in the public interest.
· Natural Gas Energy Efficiency programs (SB 1331) –Clarifies how costs are evaluated by the State Corporation Commission to increase approval of energy efficiency programs.
· Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program (HB 1446 and SB 801) Expands the PACE program, which creates loan programs for localities to finance energy efficiency projects on commercial buildings using private capital.
· Green Jobs Tax Credit (HB 1843 and SB 1037) Extends $500 per job Green Jobs Tax Credit for three years to July 1, 2018.