Law Seminars International Presents:

An Intensive One-Day Seminar on

Local Development of Renewable Energy in Virginia

Strategies for adapting to new legal, regulatory, and business developments for achieving decarbonization goals

March 18, 2021

Regrettably, we've had to cancel this program

Seminar Image

Program Overview

Who Will Benefit from Attending

Attorneys, industry executives, governmental officials, and customer representatives involved with renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric transmission and gas pipelines, and consideration of alternatives to new projects

Why You will Benefit from Attending

As Virginia embarks on its historic path to a clean energy economy, we will have to reshape energy generation, delivery and consumption in the state. Increased electrification of buildings and transportation will require more clean energy resources and changes to the region's delivery infrastructure to meet these goals in a cost-effective manner. We are pleased to have assembled a distinguished faculty to discuss the local development challenges associated with implementation of Virginia's Clean Economy Act (VECA).

Starting with updates from the lead implementation agencies, you'll hear practical advice for local project development from a variety of perspectives. These include a case study comparison of development process for large-scale solar projects vs. small scale under the DEQ's Permit-By-Rule guidelines. Our discussion of storage projects will include both technical developments and tips for developing best-in-class projects.

Community shared solar is gaining popularity and we'll address local permitting, financing, regulatory hurdles, and negotiations with the utility. Those who remember 1987's Tin Men movie about rival door-to-door smooth talking aluminum siding salesmen will appreciate the consumer protection risks that can be associated with a rush to market for companies selling consumer solar instillations. You'll hear from Berkeley Electric Cooperative's program to ensure that buyers truly get the benefits that they are expecting.

We will wrap up with a discussion of pathways forward, including market-based solutions and effective use of public/private partnerships. To keep everyone safe during the pandemic, this program will be an interactive Zoom broadcast.

We hope you will login to join the conversation. Register soon!

~ Thad Culley, Esq. of Vote Solar and Cliona Mary Robb, Esq. of Thompson McMullan, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • Clean Economy Act (VCEA) implementation updates from the lead agencies
  • Local project development for large scale vs. small scale under the DEQ Permit-By-Rule guidelines
  • Applications and technical developments for customer scale storage
  • Tips for developing best-in-class solar + storage projects
  • Local permitting: Tips for getting the CUP
  • Tips for navigating the regulatory hurdles and negotiating with distribution utilities
  • Consumer irotection Issues and approches for maximizing community involvement
  • Market opportunities, market-based solutions, overcoming policy barriers, and effective use of public/private partnerships

What Participants Have Said About Similar Programs

  • Very informative conference. Excellent tech support for live webcast participants.
  • Very knowledgable speakers who were well versed in energy.
  • "Great program to obtain up-to-the-minute information."
  • "It was interesting to have regulators give insights outside of a proceeding"
  • "Really enjoyed the program."

Thursday, March 18, 2021

9:00 am

Introduction & Overview

Thad Culley, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Vote Solar / Chapel Hill, NC

Cliona Mary Robb, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Thompson McMullan / Richmond, VA

9:15 am

Clean Economy Act (VCEA) Implementation Update

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality: RGGI implementation; permitting for smaller solar facilities; other developments

Chris Bast , Chief Deputy Director
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality / Richmond, VA

Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals & Energy: Guidance for developers and local governments for taking advantage of the clean energy development and usage opportunities provided by the VCEA

Jennifer K. Palestrant , Chief Deputy
Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals & Energy / Richmond, VA

10:30 am


10:45 am

Local Project Development

Solar: Comparative case studies of a commercial scale rural tracker array and a small scale urban roof-top project.

Anthony Smith, Ph.D. , President & CEO
Secure Futures / Staunton, VA

Customer scale storage: Applications and technical developments

William Gathright, Ph.D. , CEO
Tumalow Energy Storage / Sterling, VA

Building retrofits

Tyson Utt , Co-Founder
Commonwealth Energy Partners / Richmond, VA

12:30 pm

Lunch Break

1:45 pm

Community Shared Solar: Getting Steel into the Ground and Wires Connected to the Distribution System

Local permitting: Getting the CUP; tools available under 2020 legislation to allow for tax waivers or other financial arrangements

Matthew L. Gooch, Esq.
ReisingerGooch / Richmond, VA

Tips for navigating the regulatory hurdles and negotiating with distribution utilities

Jake Springer , Senior Policy Associate
Nexamp, Inc. / Washington, DC

Essential project development contracts, including PPAs for IPPs, and the challenge of making them work in harmony

Brian R. Greene, Esq. (inv)
GreeneHurlocker / Richmond, VA

3:30 pm


3:45 pm

Pathways Forward: Channels for Driving the Development of Renewable Energy in Virginia

Market opportunities, market-based solutions, overcoming policy barriers, and effective use of public/private partnerships

Harrison Godfrey , Executive Director
Virginia Advanced Energy Economy / Alexandria, VA

4:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Thad Culley, Thad Culley, Program Co-Chair, is Regional Director for Vote Solar. He is working to build upon the early successes of solar markets in Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Prior to joining Vote Solar, Thad was a partner with the law firm Keyes & Fox where he worked on legal and policy issues concerning distributed generation, including net metering, rate design, and interconnection.

Cliona Mary Robb, Cliona Mary Robb, Program Co-Chair, is a director at Thompson McMullan. She represents renewable and competitive service providers, as well as municipal, industrial, and commercial customers of electric, natural gas, and water utilities.

Chris Bast Chris Bast is the Chief Deputy Director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. He focuses broadly on transportation decarbonization, environmental and climate justice, and building policy support for bold climate action.

William Gathright, Ph.D. is CEO of Tumalow Energy Storage. He serves as the Vice Chair of the Virginia Solar Energy and Energy Storage Development Authority.

Harrison Godfrey is the Executive Director of Virginia Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a coalition of businesses that seek to make the Commonwealth's energy more secure, clean, and affordable as a way to bolster Virginia's economy.

Matthew L. Gooch, ReisingerGooch, is an expert on pollution control laws and emissions trading programs and was counsel to several Virginia agencies. He was the lead attorney supporting Virginia's decision to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Jennifer K. Palestrant Jennifer K. Palestrant is the Chief Deputy for the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals & Energy, overseeing the development of offshore wind for the Commonwealth. Her other projects include the creation of unified energy portfolio for the State and workforce development and economic development in Virginia's southwest.

Anthony Smith, Ph.D., Anthony Smith, Ph.D., is the President & CEO of Secure Futures, which combines state-of-the-art solar technology with an innovative business model to make commercial-scale solar power readily affordable in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. He serves as a founding board member of the Virginia Renewable Energy Alliance (VA-REA).

Jake Springer is a Senior Policy Associate at Nexamp, Inc. He formerly served as a Legislative aide focusing on energy legislation for Senator Angus S. King, Jr. Nexamp is a vertically integrated leader in the clean energy space, offering community solar and energy storage solutions.

Tyson Utt is a Co-Founder of Commonwealth Energy Partners. He formerly served as the Vice President of Development, East and was responsible for the origination and development of wind and solar projects within PJM, NYISO, ISO-NE, and SERC markets.

Accessing the Live Program

The day before the program, we will email you a link to the materials and one to log into the broadcast. Fill out the "Registration" form by entering your name and email address. That will log you in.

For tips on how you can ask questions, make comments, or join the conversation, download our Broadcast Guide.