Virginia regulators seek comments on battery energy storage system projects

Virginia regulators said that according to Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, certificates of public convenience and necessity are not required for the projects under the Utility Facilities Act because the projects are “ordinary extensions or improvements in the usual course of business.”

The Virginia State Corporation Commission, in a Feb. 11 order, said that any person or entity interested in Old Dominion Electric Cooperative’s (ODEC) petition involving battery energy storage systems (BESS) may file comments on the matter by April 23.

As noted in the filing, ODEC on Feb. 1 filed with the commission a petition requesting a declaratory judgment as to whether ODEC is required to obtain certificates of public convenience and necessity in connection with two BESS projects in Virginia:

  • An approximately 5-MW peak output BESS with two hours of storage (10 MWh) in BARC Electric Cooperative’s (BARC) service territory (BESS-1)
  • An approximately 5-MW peak output BESS with two hours of storage (10 MWh) in Prince George Electric Cooperative’s (PGEC) service territory (BESS-2)

The commission added that ODEC noted that BESS-1 and BESS-2 would be located on land owned by BARC and PGEC, respectively, and that both projects would be adjacent to existing substations.

According to ODEC, should its BESS projects qualify as “electrical generating facilities,” then certificates are not required for the projects, as each one will have a peak output of 5 MW or less.

Among other things, the commission added that according to ODEC, certificates are not required for the projects under the Utility Facilities Act because the projects are “ordinary extensions or improvements in the usual course of business.”

As noted in ODEC’s Feb. 1 petition, the two distribution cooperatives, together with ODEC, have planned and designed the BESS projects to enhance distribution system operations and reliability. ODEC said that it anticipates that the BESS projects will result in more efficient and reliable operation of the distribution systems for BARC and PGEC. By coordinating battery energy storage projects among its members, ODEC said that it anticipates that it will gain economies of scale.

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About Corina Rivera-Linares 3263 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.