The Chesapeake Solar and Storage Association (formerly MDV-SEIA) congratulates Judges Jehmal T. Hudson and Angela Navarro as the General Assembly voted last night to confirm their appointments as the new Commissioners of the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
“Judge Hudson and Judge Navarro have the opportunity to facilitate Virginia’s clean energy transition by ushering in a new era of regulatory policy guided by environmental justice and equity, economic development, and technological innovation,” said Rachel Smucker, CHESSA’s Virginia Policy & Development Manager.
Passed in 2020, the Virginia Clean Economy Act lays out one of the most ambitious renewable energy plans in the country, mandating that Virginia transition to 100% carbon-free energy production by the middle of the century, deploy over 16,000 MW of renewable energy, and develop over 3,000 MW of cutting-edge energy storage technology. The VCEA increases the accessibility of solar energy for residential customers by expanding distributed generation and prioritizes the needs of low-income individuals and communities of color.
Attaining the goals of the VCEA is dependent upon proactive, transparent, and efficient regulatory policy.
“CHESSA will look to the new Judges to capture the spirit of equity within the VCEA by holding the industry accountable to policies that lower barriers and deliver reliable, low-cost renewable energy to all Virginians,” says Karla Loeb, Chief Policy and Development Officer at Sigora Solar, a member of CHESSA.
“Judge Hudson and Judge Navarro’s commitment to supporting forward-thinking housing, economic development, and energy policy proves that they will make Virginia a destination for clean energy leaders and economic opportunity,” added Smucker.
As the former Director of Government Affairs for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and former Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Hydropower Association, Judge Hudson is primed to navigate the complex energy policy set out in the VCEA.
Judge Navarro joins the SCC after serving as Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade under Governor Ralph Northam. Prior to that role, she served as Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources under both Governor Terry McAuliffe and Governor Northam, where she advised on land conservation, energy, and environmental policies. As a lead negotiator on the VCEA itself, Judge Navarro’s unique insight will aid in the materialization of this ambitious policy.
Based on each Judge’s background, CHESSA hopes both will ensure the inclusion and recognition of the needs of Virginia’s frontline communities, especially in making clean energy more equal, affordable, and accessible to all.
CHESSA’s Executive Director David Murray said, “The confirmation of Judges Hudson and Navarro will support the realization of the goals of the VCEA: lower the cost of electricity for all ratepayers, create a resilient and reliable electric grid, generate local jobs, attract economic investment, and allow all Virginians to take advantage of clean energy, and we look forward to working with the Commissioners in the future.”
CHESSA provides an expert voice as an active participant in multiple SCC proceedings concerning the implementation of the VCEA, including both Dominion and Appalachian Power Company’s RPS, energy storage, shared solar, and multifamily shared solar cases.