RD126 - The Commonwealth of Virginia’s 2022 Energy Plan
A growing Virginia – growing population, growing businesses, growing jobs and growing economy – must prepare for the infrastructure and energy needs of tomorrow. The Commonwealth deserves an achievable plan to provide families, businesses and communities with abundant, reliable, affordable, and clean energy. Now, more than ever, Virginia needs a plan for more energy generation and reliable transmission. An “all of the above" approach that includes natural gas, nuclear, renewables and embraces innovation and emerging technologies that will meet the diverse needs of the Commonwealth’s residents and businesses now and in the future.
The 2022 Virginia Energy Plan (the Plan or 2022 VEP) provides an analytical assessment of the current state of the Commonwealth’s energy economy, a practical approach for Virginia to base future policy decisions, and a series of commonsense recommendations for policymakers and industry participants to adopt immediately. The “all of the above" approach in this Plan embraces a flexible path going forward to respond to the changing and growing demands of customers based on our guiding principles of reliability, affordability, innovation, competition, and environmental stewardship.
The Plan recommends required periodic reassessments of Virginia’s energy portfolio to remain current with the evolution of energy production and transmission. To manage a responsible energy transition, the Plan recognizes a necessary level of humility in predicting the future of energy needs and how to meet them.
To guarantee abundant, clean energy for Virginia’s future, the Plan recommends the Commonwealth make strategic investments in innovative, emerging technologies, including hydrogen, carbon capture, storage and utilization, and, particularly, small modular nuclear reactors (SMR). The Plan supports funding to initiate the goal of deploying a commercial SMR in Southwest Virginia within ten years.
This Plan also supports adding offshore wind generation to our energy mix. Of course, certainty regarding project cost, timing, and efficiency is critical for ratepayers when assessing any significant wind projects. Offshore wind also capitalizes on economic development opportunities for the domestic wind supply chain. Virginia must leverage its existing offshore wind leadership position, as host of the largest planned offshore wind project in the Free World and the deepest, widest and safest port on the East Coast.
The Plan advances competition within our current regulatory structure to provide customers needed flexibility and considers cumulative impacts of energy generation on the entire environment - land, water, and air.
The ultimate goal of the 2022 Virginia Energy Plan is to ensure access to abundant, reliable, affordable, and clean energy so all Virginians can live, work and raise a family in a growing and thriving Commonwealth.