Renewable Energy

The law requires the Department of Environmental Quality to develop regulations that use a Permit by Rule (PBR) for permitting small renewable energy projects of 150 megawatts (MW) and less. A permit by rule is a permitting mechanism that means a project is deemed to have a permit if contains all the components and meets the requirements of the regulation. The components of the renewable energy PBR includes the following:

  • Notice of Intent;
  • Local government approval;
  • Interconnection studies;
  • Final Interconnection Agreement;
  • Certification project does not exceed 150MW;
  • Air quality analysis;
  • Cultural, wildlife and natural heritage resources assessments;
  • Mitigation plan if appropriate;
  • Coastal avian protection zone analysis;
  • Certification if developer is utility or non-utility;
  • Site map, context map and operation plan;
  • 30-day public comment period, and
  • Permit fee

DEQ has developed regulations for the construction and operation of renewable energy projects of 150 megawatts and less. DEQ’s regulations take the form of permits by rule (PBRs). A permit by rule (PBR) establishes pollution limits for industrial processes or categories. Facilities can obtain authorization from DEQ by agreeing to comply with all the construction and operating requirements of the specific PBR.

The Small Renewable Energy Projects Small Renewable Energy Projects (Wind)Permit by Rule became effective on December 22, 2010; the Small Renewable Energy Projects (Solar) Permit by Rule became effective on July 18, 2012, and the Small Renewable Energy Projects (Combustion) Permit by Rule became effective on August 28, 2013. 

After careful consideration of the issues, DEQ determined it is not necessary to develop a PBR regulation for projects that generate electricity from falling water, wave motion, tides or geothermal resources.

DEQ's renewable energy goals:

To promote renewable energy and to protect the Commonwealth's natural resources, as set forth in the 2009 'Small Renewable Energy Projects' legislation.

Stay Connected

To find current public notices for regulatory actions or current notices of intent for small renewable energy projects, go to the Virginia Town Hall website. 

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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