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Virginia biomass case has high stakes for state’s renewable market

By District Energy posted 05-17-2018 10:14


Elizabeth McGowan, Energy News Network

PHOTO BY Nyttend / Flickr


A biomass company that wants to sell power to a small, private college in Virginia is challenging regulators’ interpretation of the state’s competitive supplier law.

English Biomass’ arrangement with Ferrum College to provide 25 percent of the school’s electricity was rejected by the State Corporation Commission last month. Virginia law allows large customers to shop around for renewable power, but commissioners said such contracts have to cover 100 percent of customers’ power needs.

The company’s attorney disputes the commission’s all-or-nothing interpretation and filed an appeal to the state’s Supreme Court on May 10.

“We think the commissioners read the statute incorrectly,” Richmond attorney Eric Page said. “We are going to get the Supreme Court to tell them what the General Assembly really meant.”

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