Any agreement between an authority and a unit with respect to the joint ownership of a project shall provide that each party to the agreement shall own a percentage of the project equal to the percentage of the money furnished or the value of property supplied by the respective parties for the acquisition and construction thereof and shall own and control a like percentage of the output thereof. The agreement shall further provide that an authority shall be liable only for its own acts thereunder and that no moneys or other contributions supplied by an authority shall be applied in any way to the account of any other party to the agreement. Any such agreement may contain such terms, conditions, and provisions as the board of directors of an authority shall deem to be in the best interest of such authority.The agreement may include, but shall not be limited to, provisions for the construction, operation and maintenance of a project by one of the parties thereto, which shall be designated in or pursuant to such agreement as agent on behalf of itself and the other parties, or by such other means as may be determined by the parties and provisions for a uniform method of determining, and allocating among the parties, costs of construction, operation, maintenance, renewals, replacements, and improvements with respect to such project. In carrying out its functions and activities as such agent with respect to the construction, operation, and maintenance of such a project, including without limitation the letting of contracts therefor, the agent shall be governed by the laws and regulations applicable to such agent as a separate legal entity and not by any laws or regulations which may be applicable to any of the other parties. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, the authority may delegate its powers and duties with respect to the construction, operation and maintenance of such project to such agent, and all actions taken by the agent in accordance with the provisions of such agreement shall be binding upon each of the parties without further action or approval by their respective boards of directors or governing bodies. The agent shall be required to exercise all such powers and perform its duties and functions under the agreement in a manner consistent with prudent utility practice.As used in this section, “prudent utility practice” means any of the practices, methods, and acts at a particular time which, in the exercise of reasonable judgment in the light of the facts, including but not limited to the practices, methods, and acts engaged in or approved by a significant portion of the electrical utility industry prior thereto, known at the time the decision was made, would have been expected to accomplish the desired result at the lowest reasonable cost consistent with reliability, safety and expedition.
1979, c. 416, § 15.1-1613; 1997, c. 587.