Virginia utility under pressure from company seeking to offer 100% renewable electricity

A national energy marketer offering electricity and natural gas in 10 states and the District of Columbia is trying to pry open monopoly service territory of Dominion Virginia Power, alleging the monopoly utility is conducting an “antagonistic” effort to deny it from offering a renewable energy product.

Direct Energy says it wants to sell 100% renewable resources to residential electricity customers by purchasing from wind and solar systems within the PJM Interconnection power grid that includes Virginia. The residential electricity market is the largest major energy market segment still off limits to competition in Virginia.

In the Southeast, limited consumer choice is available in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. If Direct Energy and its allies succeed, it could send a strong signal to other states to enable customers to choose their electricity supplier.

The application, filed at the State Corporation Commission (SCC), seeks to capitalize on a provision of the Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act passed in 2007 that permits an electric supplier to serve customers if it offers a “100% renewable” energy product. But it first wants to clarify certain provisions that until now have kept national energy marketers, as well as third-party solar companies, from deploying power purchase agreements out of the residential market for electricity in Virginia.

Read more (Southeast Energy News)