Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam and the general assembly has reportedly approved the Senate Bill 851 Clean Economy Act and House Bill 1526, which requires the region to help build around 5.2 GW of offshore wind power generation capacity for public interest.
This act demands Dominion Energy to prioritize more on local workers based out of historically disadvantaged communities while hiring, to create a fisheries mitigation and environmental plan, and to work alongside Commonwealth to advance job training and apprenticeship.
Moreover, the law commands almost all coal-fired facilities to shut down by the end of 2024, Dominion Energy to become 100% carbon-free by 2045, and electricity to be generated from 100% renewable sources.
As a result, Dominion Energy Virginia is compelled to close down its Chesterfield’s 1,032-MW coal facility within the next five years.
As per the Virginia Clean Economy Act, all coal-fired electric producing plants functioning within the Commonwealth need to be retired by the Q4 of 2024 with partial exceptions. The governor even inked on legislation that would cement the foundations for the state to take part in the Regional Greenhouse Gas program.
Apparently, energy firms will have to pay penalties to the state if they fail to satisfy the laid-out targets, and a section of that revenue would go into funding renewable energy programs and job training in historically downtrodden communities.
According to Governor Northam, these clean energy norms position Virginia at the forefront of climate change fighting states. In addition to this, these regulations would promote environmental justice and boost clean energy job opportunities. Virginia is working on creating a model where a strong economy and a clean environment go hand-in-hand.
Currently, Ørsted and Dominion Energy are working on Virginia’s first 12 MW offshore wind project near coastal Virginia.