Data Center Legislation in the 2024 Virginia General Assembly

Numerous pieces of legislation related to data center reform were introduced as part of the 2024 Virginia General Assembly Session. Unfortunately, the majority of the bills were defeated or carried over to the 2025 Virginia General Assembly Session. Many elected officials preferred to wait for the results of a Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) Study of Data Centers (approved at the end of 2023) before taking further action.

As of Feb. 13, the only data center bill still alive is HB 338, which allows localities to conduct site assessments to determine a data center’s potential impact on water usage and carbon emissions. HB 338 has passed the House this session and is worthy of support in the Senate. You can still voice your support for HB 338 and other legislative efforts to get a handle on the impacts of data centers by using our advocacy campaign to send a letter to your state elected officials

Here is a list of the legislation tracked or supported by organizations within the Virginia Conservation Network during the 2024 legislative session:

Energy Efficiency Bills

  • HB116 [continued to 2025] Sullivan (D) and SB192 [continued to 2025] Subramanyam (D) – Ties sales and use tax exemption to energy efficiency and procurement of renewables
  • HB910 [continued to 2025] Srinivasan (D) – Requires quarterly reporting on energy usage

Siting Bills

  • HB337 [subcommittee recommends laying on the table] Lovejoy (R) and Thomas (D) and SB284 [continued to 2025] Roem (D) – Discourages siting that impacts historic and agricultural resources and prohibits within 1 or ½ mile of a park
  • HB338 [crossed over to Senate] Helmer (D), Lovejoy (R), and Thomas (D) – Requires siting assessment on water usage and carbon emissions as well as impact on agriculture
  • HB1010 [subcommittee recommends laying on the table] Lovejoy (R) – Prohibits data centers within ¼ mile of schools, parks, or residential areas
  • SB285 [continued to 2025] Roem (D) – Requires disclosure of water and power usage at full build-out and site assessment to review impacts
  • SB288 [failed to report from committee] Roem (D) – Requires noise abatement requirements
  • SB289 [continued to 2025] Roem (D) – Requires additional stormwater management near parks

Undergrounding of Transmission Lines Bills

  • HB340 [subcommittee recommends laying on the table] Lovejoy (R) and Thomas (D), SB286 [failed to report from committee] Roem (D) – Undergrounding of transmission lines within a half mile of a national park is in the public interest
  • SB708 [continued to 2025] Perry (R) – Pilot project for underground transmission lines, increasing capacity from 230 kilovolts to 500 kilovolts

Industry Pays Bills

  • HB1288 [continued to 2025] Webert (R) – Requires public electric, water, and sewer utilities to have a separate classification for data centers
  • SB191 [continued to 2025] Subramanyam (D) – Requires aggregate planning of generation, transmission, and distribution and initiates a proceeding to assess the current allocation of costs and amend if found data centers are subsidized
  • SB664 [continued to 2025] Stuart (R) – Prohibits the costs associated with electrical infrastructure required by the industry to be allocated to all ratepayers.

Process Bills

  • SB667 [failed to report from committee] Stuart (R) – Removes authority for locality for accelerated permitting