The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy became the Virginia Department of Energy on October 1st (Virginia Energy). Governor Northam stated, “Virginia is fully in on the clean energy.” “We approved among the most comprehensive clean energy legislation in the nation, and we are shifting to a 100% renewable energy electric system. These are positive developments that will result in more jobs, cleaner air, increased investment, and a stronger economy.”
The Department’s new name results from a resolution made by the General Assembly in April 2021 and ratified by Governor Northam. The old Division of Energy was renamed Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, while the previous Division of Mined Land Reclamation was renamed Mined Land Repurposing.
John Warren, who serves as the Virginia Energy Director, stated, “This agency is going to continue to deliver a superior standard of service to our conventional customer base while benefiting the areas we serve.” “The timely clean energy trend has enabled us to adjust and restructure our team, allowing us to concentrate on new projects while maintaining our current client service.”
The 2020 Virginia Clean Economy Act set a mandated renewable portfolio standard of 30% clean energy by the year 2030, a compulsory energy efficiency resource criterion, and a roadmap to a pollution-free electric grid by the year 2045, which led to the renaming of Virginia Energy.
Officials claim this will pave the way for the development of clean energy resources while also ensuring that investments are made cost-effectively. It also aims to assist low-income households in lowering their electricity bills and increasing their energy efficiency.
The Department was reformed earlier this year to better focus on sustainable energy programs. Leaders switched their focus to the potential for growth connected with the repurposing of formerly mined lands.
Brian Ball, who is the Secretary in charge of the Commerce and Trade, said, “The Virginia Department of Energy does have a long history of collaborating with partners throughout the energy industry and across government agencies in the Commonwealth.” “Meeting the climate objectives that are so essential to all of us will require collaboration between these partners and the agency. The agency’s purpose of supporting sustainable energy projects and energy infrastructure expansion is reflected in this change.”
The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy was established in 1985 with the goal of ensuring the safety of gas, coal, mineral, and oil workers as well as environmental compliance at each site. Since then, the agency has grown dramatically, with offices in Charlottesville, Big Stone Gap, and Richmond and approximately 200 workers across the Commonwealth. The Abandoned Mine Land program, the Virginia State Energy Office, and Virginia’s Geology and Mineral Resources program are all housed in the office.