Virginia and New Jersey are using extensive stakeholder engagement and public input processes as they develop new comprehensive energy plans.
This summer, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) held a series of six public listening sessions across the state to collect input for the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan, which will be submitted to the Governor, the State Corporation Commission, and the General Assembly by October 1. In addition to these in-person meetings, the agency used a public comment period, which ended on August 24, to accept written feedback from stakeholders.
According to the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan website, the goal is to provide a strategic vision for the energy policy of the Commonwealth by examining energy consumption, energy resource adequacy, fuel diversity, efficiency and conservation initiatives, and impacts on economically disadvantaged and minority communities, among other priorities. “The amount and quality of public feedback so far has been inspiring,” notes Al Christopher, director of DMME’s Energy Division. “We’re really looking forward to putting together a plan that reflects the time, thought, and energy that Virginia stakeholders have put into this.”
In New Jersey, the Energy Master Plan (EMP) Committee, chaired by Joseph L. Fiordaliso President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), is hosting a series of five public stakeholder meetings throughout September to inform the development of its new Energy Master Plan, due June 2019. The EMP Committee is composed of five work groups and additional stakeholder meeting by these work groups will continue through the fall. The 2019 EMP will provide a comprehensive guide to advance key goals including achieving 100 percent clean energy by 2050 including the continued development of solar, off-shore wind and clean energy storage; clean, efficient electric alternatives in the transportation sector, growing the state’s clean energy economy; ensuring reliability and affordability for all customers; reducing the state’s carbon footprint; and advancing new technologies. Details on Governor Murphy’s clean energy directives for the 2019 EMP and the five work group areas are available at www.nj.gov/emp/.
According to the agency's press release, NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso noted the importance of a comprehensive, publicly-vetted plan: “‘creating a clean energy economy in New Jersey opens new markets and creates an enormous economic development opportunity in this state. The potential there cannot be understated.’”
State energy planning helps guide and build consensus among stakeholders in moving toward a shared goal of meeting future energy needs in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. To learn more about comprehensive energy planning, and to check out other states’ plans, visit http://naseo.org/stateenergyplans.