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West Virginia

West Virginia

Incentives/Policies for Renewable Energy

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Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard   

Last DSIRE Review: 08/18/2014
Program Overview:
State: West Virginia
Incentive Type: Renewables Portfolio Standard
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: CHP/Cogeneration, Certain energy efficiency and demand-side management projects
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Fuel Cells, Municipal Solid Waste, Other Non-Renewable Alternative Energy Resources (see summary for list), Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric, Biodiesel, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Applicable Sectors: Investor-Owned Utility, Retail Supplier, (serving more than 30,000 customers)
Standard:25% alternative and renewable energy resources by 2025
Technology Minimum:At least 90% must come from eligible resources other than natural gas
Credit Trading:Yes (PJM-GATS)
Credit Transfers Accepted From:MIRECS into PJM-GATS
(Refers to tracking system compatibility only, not RPS eligibility. Please see statutes and regulations for information on facility eligibility)
Credit Transfers Accepted To:PJM-GATS into MIRECS
(Refers to tracking system compatibility only, not RPS eligibility. Please see statutes and regulations for information on facility eligibility)
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
W. Va. Code ยง24-2F-1 et seq.
07/01/2009 (subsequently amended)
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
PSC Order, Case No. 11-0249-E-P

In June 2009, West Virginia enacted an Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard that requires investor-owned utilities (IOUs)* with more than 30,000 residential customers to supply 25% of retail electric sales from eligible alternative and renewable energy resources by 2025.

While this law contains some provisions similar to those found in Renewables Portfolio Standards (RPSs) adopted by other states, West Virginia's standard does not require a minimum contribution from renewable energy resources. The standard can be met using only alternative resources without any renewable resources. As a result, the renewable energy portion of the standard functions as a non-binding goal.

The standard sets the following minimum benchmarks for electric utilities based on their annual electricity sales:

  • 10% from 2015 to 2019
  • 15% from 2020 to 2024
  • 25% by January 1st 2025

Each utility submitted a compliance plan in 2010. These initial compliance plans, along with periodic progress reports, will be evaluated by the Public Service Commission (PSC) after January 1, 2015 to verify compliance. The PSC may impose non-compliance assessments if the utility fails to comply with the standard.

Elegible Technologies

To qualify, electricity produced by alternative and renewable resources must be generated or purchased from a facility in West Virginia or in the PJM Service Territory (the regional transmission organization which serves the state). The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) is authorized to certify additional resources as either alternative or renewable. Furthermore, projects that reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions and certain demand-side or efficiency projects may be certified and counted towards meeting the standard.

Alternative Energy Resources
In West Virginia, "alternative energy resources" include coal technology, coal bed methane, natural gas, fuel produced by a coal gasification or liquification facility, synthetic gas, integrated gasification combined cycle technologies, waste coal, tire-derived fuel, pumped storage hydroelectric projects, and recycled energy (through June 2010).

Renewable Energy Resources
The definition of "renewable energy resources" includes solar-electric, solar thermal energy, wind power, run-of-river hydropower, geothermal energy, fuel cells, and certain biomass energy and biologically-derived fuels. S.B. 350 enacted in April 2010 changed "recycled energy" from classification as an "alternative energy resource" to a renewable energy resource (effective in June 2010).

Energy Credits & Credit Multipliers

An alternative energy credit (AEC) is equal to a megawatt-hour (MWh) of alternative or renewable electricity generation. The PSC uses a public registry and PJM's GATS system to track transactions. Compliance is based on alternative energy credits (AECs), and banking of excess credits is allowed.

Credits will be awarded in the following way:

  • One credit for each MWh of electricity generated or purchased from an alternative energy resource facility. It should be noted that utilities may meet no more than 10% of the standard with credits obtained from electricity generated from natural gas.
  • Two credits for each MWh of electricity generated or purchased from a renewable energy resource facility
  • Three credits for each MWh of electricity generated or purchased from a renewable energy resource facility located on a reclaimed surface mine in West Virginia
  • Customer-generators will be awarded one credit for each MWh of electricity generated from an alternative energy resource facility and two credits for each MWh of electricity generated from a renewable energy resource facility.
  • The PSC is authorized to award one credit to an electric utility for each ton of carbon dioxide-equivalent reduced or offset by approved projects.
  • The PSC is also authorized to award one credit to an electric utility for each MWh of electricity conserved by an approved energy efficiency or demand-side management project, provided that the project savings are verified and certified according to PSC rules (to be determined).
General Order 184.32 states that in order to claim alternative energy credits, customer generators and behind the meter generators (BTMs) must certify their resource with the Public Utiliity Commission and then file an Alternative or Renewable Meter Generation. Customer generators and BTMs shall own alternative energy credits unless they have contracted by a third party to provide generation, in which case the third party owns the credits.
Customer generators and BTMs with systems above 10 kW must have meters that meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C-12 meter standards. Systems below 10 kW are permitted to make generation measurements based upon system inverters or may also have meters that meet ANSI C-12 standards.

* Including electric distribution companies or electric generation suppliers selling to retail customers. Municipal utilities, rural electric cooperatives, and other utilities serving fewer than 30,000 residential customers are specifically excluded from the standard, although the Public Service Commission (PSC) will consider adopting, by administrative rule, alternative and renewable requirements that would apply to these utilities.

  Jeff Herholdt
West Virginia Division of Energy
Bldg. 6, Room 553
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305-0311
Phone: (304) 558-2234
Phone 2: (800) 982-3386
Fax: (304) 558-0362
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.