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Comprehensive Energy Overhaul Reaches Governor’s Desk

Two workers in safety vests in front of solar panels
A Dominion Energy solar facility in Louisa County (Photo: Dominion Energy)

Lawmakers in the General Assembly have passed a sweeping clean energy bill designed to decarbonize Virginia’s electricity grid by 2045.

The plan’s backers say it’s the most comprehensive clean energy proposal in the South.

The bill calls for massive new offshore wind projects, set to be some of the largest in the country. It also includes new investments in solar and energy storage in Virginia.

Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) is one of the bill’s sponsors.

“We have leapt from the back of the pack as far as energy policy to the front, and we really should be proud of that,” McClellan said.

Some lawmakers expressed sticker shock at the price tag -- over $50 billion over the lifetime of the new projects, according to an estimate from the State Corporation Commission.

Critics say Virginia customers will end up footing that bill.

The legislation now heads to Gov. Ralph Northam, whose administration was closely involved in writing it.

Ben Paviour covers courts and criminal justice for VPM News with a focus on accountability.
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