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The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are!

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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Voluntary Renewable Energy Portfolio Goal   

Last DSIRE Review: 11/11/2014
Program Overview:
State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Renewables Portfolio Standard
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Energy from Waste, Anaerobic Digestion, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy
Applicable Sectors: Investor-Owned Utility
Standard:Goal: 15% of base year (2007) sales by 2025
Technology Minimum:No
Credit Trading:Yes
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
S.B. 420
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Va. Code ยง 56-585.2
4/11/2007 (later amended)
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
H.B. 1022
Authority 4:
Date Enacted:
H.B. 2261

As part of legislation to re-regulate the state's electricity industry, Virginia enacted a voluntary Renewable Energy Portfolio (RPS) goal in 2007. Legislation passed in 2009 (HB 1994) expanded the goal, encouraging investor-owned utilities to procure a percentage of the power sold in Virginia from eligible renewable energy sources. Legislation passed in 2012 (SB 413) allows investor-owned utilities to meet up to 20% of a renewable energy goal through certificated research and development activity expenses related to renewable energy and alternative energy sources.  In addition to allowing participating utilities to recover costs for RPS programs, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) also offers utilities an increased rate of return (profit) for each “RPS Goal” attained from qualified renewable energy generation facilities approved before January 1, 2013 or offshore wind and nuclear power facilities after July 1, 2013. Power purchase agreements entered into after July 1, 2013 transfers ownership of renewable energy credits (RECs) to participating utility.

RPS Compliance
Each investor-owned electric utility must report to the Commission annually by November 1st on its efforts, if any, to meet the RPS Goals, its overall generation of renewable energy, and any advances in renewable generation technology. Electricity must be generated in Virginia or in the interconnection region of the regional transmission entity.

The RPS targets are defined as percentages of the amount of electricity sold in 2007 (the "base year"), minus the average annual percentage of power supplied from nuclear generators between 2004 and 2006.

The RPS schedule is as follows:

  • RPS Goal I: 4% of base year sales in 2010
  • RPS Goal II: Average of 4% of base year sales in 2011 through 2015, and 7% of base year sales in 2016
  • RPS Goal III: Average of 7% of base year sales in 2017 through 2021, and 12% of base year sales in 2022
  • RPS Goal IV: Average of 12% of base year sales in 2023 and 2024, and 15% of base year sales in 2025

Investor-owned incumbent electric utilities can gain approval to participate in the voluntary RPS program from the SCC if the utility demonstrates that it has a reasonable expectation of achieving the 12% target in 2022.

Eligible Technologies
Eligible energy resources include solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower*, wave, tidal, and biomass energy.

  • Onshore wind and solar power receive a double credit toward RPS goals.
  • Offshore wind receives triple credit toward RPS goals.
  • Existing renewable energy generators are eligible for RPS compliance.

Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)

Participating utilities may use RECs to meet up to 20% of an annual requirement. All RECs acquired after January 1, 2014 will expire after five years if they are not applied to meet the RPS requirement.

* Hydropower excludes pumped storage, and the amount of wood derived from trees that would be otherwise used by Virginia lumber and pulp manufacturers is capped at 1.5 million tons annually.

  Greg Abbott
Virginia State Corporation Commission
Division of Energy Regulation
1300 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 371-9611
Fax: (804) 371-9350
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.