RICHMOND — Access to affordable, reliable energy is critical to all Virginians. Without it, our economy suffers as businesses struggle, and families suffer, as they must choose between staying warm or paying other bills. If Virginia is to meet these goals and have a low-carbon energy future, nuclear power must be part of the equation.
The Republican-controlled House of Delegates today passed multiple bills that will position Virginia to be a leader in the nuclear energy sector, and will help ensure that we keep the light on for decades to come.
“Any policy that leaves Virginians freezing in the dark, either due to rolling blackouts or unaffordable energy prices, is a bad policy,” said House Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah. The recent rolling blackouts in neighboring states are a reminder of why House Republicans are working to keep our grid reliable and prices affordable no matter the weather.”
“Small modular reactors represent an unprecedented opportunity for our Commonwealth. The coalfields that were once the powerhouse of Virginia can and will be again, as they become the home of this cutting edge industry,” added Del. Danny Marshall, R-Danville, patron of House Bill 2333.
“With the passage of these bills, Virginia will be well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity, and ensure that as other other forms of renewable energy are deployed reliability and affordability are put first,” he said.
Bills passed include the following:
- House Bill 1780 requires certain counties to enter into a revenue-sharing agreement for the construction of a small modular nuclear reactor facility.
- House Bill 2333 promotes the development of small modular nuclear reactors by requiring the State Corporation Commission to establish a small modular nuclear reactor pilot program.
- House Bill 1797 adds customer protections if there is a shortfall in offshore wind energy production.
- House Bill 2130 protects the reliability of the electric grid by giving the State Corporation Commission the authority to retire electric generating units that are coal-fired or emit carbon.
- House Bill 2305 requires the construction of renewable energy capacities or energy storage resources to be bid by competitive procurement.