Governor Youngkin Announces Plans to Invest $10 Million in Clean Energy
“Today I am pleased to propose a $10 million investment in the upcoming budget to turn Virginia into a leader in energy innovation,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.“With technologies like carbon capture and utilization, and resources like critical minerals, hydrogen, and nuclear, we will make Virginia the epicenter for reliable and affordable energy innovation.”
“We applaud Governor Youngkin for leaning in on clean energy innovation by investing in energy storage, nuclear, hydrogen, carbon capture and more,” said Mark Fleming. “The Power Innovation Fund will recruit new economic investment, create jobs, and drive new technologies to lower energy costs for all Virginians.”
Norton, VA – Building on the momentum from his 2022 Virginia Energy Plan, Governor Youngkin traveled to Southwest Virginia in October to announce a proposed $10 million investment to create the Virginia Power Innovation Fund. Southwest Virginia has always been a leader on energy production for the Commonwealth and this project will help to continue that great legacy during our energy transition. The Energy DELTA Lab in Southwest Virginia will play a key role in promoting this energy technology research and deployment in the region to support the entire Commonwealth. The fund will be used to support research and development of innovative energy technologies, including nuclear, hydrogen, carbon capture and utilization, and battery storage as a part of the “all-of-the-above” Virginia Energy Plan. All of these technologies are critical to a clean energy future, and the overwhelming majority of Virginians support the transition to cleaner energy sources over time. Conservatives for Clean Energy is proud to play a role in supporting these initiatives.
Making Virginia a leading state in the development of new nuclear technologies like Small Modular Reactors is a significant piece of the governor’s energy plan. To support this effort, the Governor proposed dedicating $5 million of this funding to establish a Virginia Nuclear Innovation Hub. The Commonwealth is home to a variety of critical nuclear assets including higher education nuclear programs, the nuclear NAVY in Hampton Roads, and a hub of nuclear industry leaders in Lynchburg. The proposed Nuclear Innovation Hub will in part provide grants to support higher education research on Small Modular Reactor technologies, fund nuclear energy workforce development programming, and to assist with site selection for future small modular reactor projects in the state, starting with Southwest Virginia. When announcing his energy plan, Governor Youngkin called his “moonshot” to establish a small modular reactor in Southwest Virginia within 10 years.
The Governor’s announcement was at a reclaimed mine, which could serve as a site for a small modular reactor. The investments and opportunities have already drawn support from a lot of legislative leaders who are excited to continue the clean energy transition by diversifying our generation opportunities and promoting new technologies. As seen in the above photo, Governor Youngkin was joined by Attorney General Jason Miyares, House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore, former Governor George Allen, and several other members of the Virginia General Assembly.
The Governor’s budget, introduced in December, includes the following language and spending on the fund:
A.1. Out of the amounts in this Item, $10,000,000 in the second year from the general fund shall be deposited into the Virginia Power Innovation Fund. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Power Innovation Fund, which shall be administered by the Virginia Department of Energy. The fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All amounts appropriated and such other funds as may be made available to the fund from any other source, public or private, shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the fund. Interest earned on moneys in the fund shall remain in the fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the fund. Moneys in the fund shall be used solely for research and development of innovative energy technologies, including nuclear, hydrogen, carbon capture and utilization, and energy storage.
2. Of the amounts in paragraph A.1., $5,000,000 shall be used to support establishing a Virginia Nuclear Innovation Hub. The department shall, in collaboration with the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority: develop guidelines and procedures for the deployment of these funds, including providing grants to support higher education research on Small Modular Reactor technologies, fund nuclear energy workforce development programming, and to assist with site selection for future small modular reactor projects in the Commonwealth.
3. Of the amounts in paragraph A.1., $5,000,000 shall be used for grants to support energy innovation. The department, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, shall develop objective guidelines and criteria that shall be used in awarding these funds.
See the full budget item here:
Read the Governor’s October announcement here: