Our company enjoyed the dubious distinction of receiving two cease-and-desist letters from Dominion Virginia Power last year, as Ms. Main noted. We had just entered into a 20-year agreement to sell electricity from Virginia’s largest solar energy project, which we installed at Washington and Lee University. Together with Washington and Lee, we decided it was in everyone’s interest to do it Dominion’s way by ending the agreement and instead entering into a 20-year equipment lease with the university.
Unfortunately, as of this year, such a leasing arrangement will no longer work for tax-exempt customers such as Washington and Lee because of federal investment tax credit regulations, thus severely limiting possibilities for third-party investment in renewable energy in Virginia.
We need a resilient energy policy that reduces barriers to private-sector financing for distributed renewable energy. Increasing choices creates more jobs and will speed the growth of clean energy in Virginia. Del. Terry G. Kilgore (R-Scott) has introduced a bill with a common-sense approach that will allow clean-energy companies such as ours to do renewable energy purchase agreements around the state while preserving Dominion’s exclusive franchise.
Anthony E. Smith, Staunton
The writer is president and chief executive of Secure Futures.