RD802 - Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority 2021 Annual Report

Executive Summary:

In 2015, the Virginia General Assembly created the Virginia Solar Energy Development Authority (the Authority) for the purposes of facilitating, coordinating, and supporting the development, either by the Authority or by other qualified entities, of the solar energy industry and solar energy projects. The Authority seeks to accomplish this by developing programs that increase the availability of financing for solar energy projects; facilitating the increase of solar energy generation systems on public and private sector facilities in the Commonwealth; promoting the growth of the Virginia solar industry; and providing a hub for collaboration between entities, both public and private, to partner on solar energy projects. The enabling legislation for the Authority is included in Appendix G.

The Authority, as originally created, was composed of 11 non-legislative citizen members: six members appointed by the Governor, three members by the Speaker of the House of Delegates, and two members by the Senate Committee on Rules.

In the 2017 legislative session, Code § 45.2-1901 was amended to include energy storage as a key activity for the Authority to study, and the Authority was renamed the Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority. The legislation expanded the purposes of the authority to include positioning the Commonwealth as a leader in research, development, commercialization, manufacturing, and deployment of energy storage technology. The powers of the Authority were expanded to include (i) promoting collaborative efforts among Virginia's public and private institutions of higher education in research, development, and commercialization efforts related to energy storage; (ii) monitoring relevant developments nationally and globally; and (iii) identifying and working with the Commonwealth's industries and nonprofit partners. Four additional members were added: 2 appointed by the Governor and 1 each from the House and Senate. A listing of the appointed Authority members is included in Appendix H.

The Authority is scheduled to expire on July 1, 2025.