Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy Outlines Plan for Combined Heat and Power

Nov 17, 2020


Earlier this month, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) published their Combined Heat and Power Technology: A Roadmap for Virginia, which outlines how the Commonwealth can achieve the 750 megawatts of CHP by 2030 target set by the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan (VEP).

The VEP directed DMME to develop a roadmap to achieve the 2030 target through utility-sponsored programs, public buildings and the private market. This roadmap provides a background on CHP technology and outlines how increasing investment in CHP could support public policy strategies for energy efficiency, emergency preparedness and resiliency. The roadmap also examines the status of CHP policy in Virginia, and barriers that would prevent further development of CHP. DMME concludes with a set of recommendations to achieve the CHP goals laid out in the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan, including:

  • Encourage electric utilities to seek partnerships and proposals from CHP developers and potential customers through either a Request for Information (RFI) or Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Inviting such proposals from the marketplace will identify viable project opportunities and provide utilities with accurate data points that could be further evaluated in integrated resource planning models. Virginia utilities can build on similar efforts by other regulated utilities such as Duke Energy and Florida Public Utilities. Utilities should consider giving priority to projects which enhance grid resilience, reduce customer costs, and reduce emissions.
  • Conduct a stakeholder engagement process to raise awareness and create opportunities for collaboration. The stakeholder engagement process should promote the utility owned CHP incentives outlined in the Virginia Clean Economy Act.
  • Conduct a geospatial study of specific CHP project candidates throughout the Commonwealth.
  • Examine current regulatory practices to facilitate utility-owned CHP systems at customer sites. More specifically, it is recommended that the State Corporation Commission (SCC) review IRP rules to ensure they reflect current priorities related to CHP deployment. If needed, the SCC should consider revising rules to ensure inclusion of CHP or issuing guidance that clarifies how CHP should be treated in the IRP process.
  • Lead by example – the Commonwealth should examine its own facilities and consider efficient CHP systems where appropriate.
  • Consider incentives to support the additional costs of resilient CHP systems applied to critical infrastructure.
  • Develop a program to promote the use of digesters in agriculture and wastewater treatment facilities to minimize waste and potentially fuel onsite CHP systems. The Commonwealth should promote CHP as an important efficiency and resilience resource for attracting new businesses to the Commonwealth.
  • Financial support for CHP generators should be considered as a component of relevant disaster relief funding.
  • Conduct outreach to multi-family facility owners and managers to identify potential candidates for CHP installations that would expand energy equity.

DMME worked in collaboration with DOE and EPA officials, and members of the Combined Heat and Power Alliance to create this roadmap. Click here for a PDF version.