The state’s investor-owned utilities should issue annual requests for proposals (RfPs) for at least 500MW of wind and solar projects to help meet the first of these targets.
They should also enable corporate customers and small businesses to be able to buy renewable energy directly, according to the Virginia Energy Plan 2018.
Virginia should also act upon recommendations from a report by consultancy BVG Associates into how the state can develop a suitable supply chain for offshore wind, the energy plan added.
Furthermore, the state’s governor, Ralph Northam, should commit to a goal of 2GW of offshore wind, develop a strategy for reaching this target, and create an office of offshore wind tasked with carrying out this goal.
The plan builds on Virginia’s Grid Transformation and Security Act, which states it would "be in the public interest" to have 5GW of utility-scale wind and solar resources. It was signed into law earlier this year.
Virginia currently has no online utility-scale wind projects, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.
However, its department of environmental quality has approved Apex Clean Energy’s plans for a 75.6MW site, and utility Dominion Energy will request approval for a 12MW offshore demonstration project as part of a grid modernisation programme.
Dominion launched the programme in July to integrate 3GW of new onshore wind and solar projects demanded by Virginia’s Grid Transformation and Security Act.
The state’s department of mines, minerals and energy also appealed for help from experienced contractors to develop a supply chain for offshore wind in May.
And in a report published in September, BVG Associates reaffirmed that 2GW of offshore capacity was achievable by 2028, and that committing to this target would encourage investment.