Virginia Allows Load Aggregation for Commercial Customers to Purchase Power From Third-Party Suppliers

The Virginia State Corporation Commission announced a pilot program that will allow Dominion Energy Inc.’s commercial customers to combine the load of separately metered retail stores to purchase electricity from third party suppliers, according to a June 10 press release. The measure is in response to legislation enacted in April that directed the agency to conduct the pilot with the aggregated load capped at 200 megawatts. The law takes effect on July 1.

Under state law, a customer whose demand exceeds 5 megawatts can leave the utility and buy power from a competitive supplier. While a single retail store is not likely meet the demand requirement, pooling the load of several commercial customers can reach the threshold.

The commission will accept notices of intent to participate in the pilot until the 200-megawatt limit is reached. The pilot program will be evaluated in 2022 pursuant to the legislation.