Update: Virginia Senate passes pumped storage bill, moves to governor for signature

As a result of the Virginia Senate passing HB 1760 with only one no vote, the bill has moved to Governor Terry McAuliffe for signature.

On Feb. 2, HydroWorld.com reported the bill had been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor after being passed by the House by a vote of 98 yes, zero no and one abstaining.

HB 1760 Electric utilities; costs of pumped hydroelectricity generation and storage facilities “authorizes an investor-owned electric utility to petition the State Corporation Commission for approval of a rate adjustment clause for recovery of the costs of one or more pumped hydroelectricity generation and storage facilities that utilize renewable energy as all or a portion of their power source and are located in the coalfield region of the Commonwealth,” according to Virginia’s Legislative Information System.

The bill was introduced by Republican Delegate Terry G. Kilgore on Jan. 9.

According to an impact statement related to the bill, “The measure provides that the requirement that a utility demonstrate that it has considered and weighed alternative options, including third-party market alternatives, in its selection process does not apply to these generation and storage facilities. The construction of these generation and storage facilities is declared to be in the public interest, and in determining whether to approve such facility, the Commission is directed to liberally construe the provisions of Title 56.”

Virginia Code Title 56 relates to public service companies.

The bill was passed to the governor Feb. 14, and he has an action deadline of midnight on Feb. 21.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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