Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) signed a permit allowing Amazon to build the largest solar farm in the state and in the mid-Atlantic. With McAuliffe’s signature the 80 megawatt solar farm in northern Accomack County received its final approval. The project is being constructed by Community Energy.
“The partnership between Community Energy and Amazon Web Services, which will result in the largest solar facility in the mid-Atlantic, is indicative of the types of opportunities that my administration is working toward through our commitment to build a new Virginia economy,” McAuliffe said. “The solar energy industry holds tremendous potential for economic growth in Virginia in the coming years, and I look forward to bringing more projects like this to the Commonwealth.”
The new project, Amazon Solar Farm US East, will be the largest single project in the Mid-Atlantic and one of the largest on the entire East Coast. The Governor’s office stated that this project alone, which willl power Amazon Web Services, will quadruple the amount of solar power in the state.
“Amazon Web Services is pleased to be teaming up with Community Energy on Amazon Solar Farm US East,” said Shannon Kellogg, director of Public Policy for Amazon. “We are excited about the impact that this project can have on the environment and the local economy in Virginia, and we thank the Governor for his strong commitment to make more renewable energy sources available in the Commonwealth.”
Virginia’s southern neighbor, North Carolina, will remain one of the largest solar markets in the U.S., with more than 1,000 megawatts of solar installed and online. However, no single installation in that state is as large as the one McAuliffe permitted on Monday.
“This solar project is a first for Virginia and a giant step forward for clean power on the East Coast,” said Brent Alderfer, President of Community Energy. “With this project, Virginia jumps to the lead in attracting the energy industry of the future, with cloud-technology leader Amazon Web Services as the first customer.”
Under terms of the project Community Energy will build the array and Amazon Web Services will pay for the power the plant delivers to the grid via a power-purchase agreement. That way the off-site plant will power the company’s electric use in the state.