Virginia will support 500 megawatts of rooftop solar, install 3 gigawatts of new solar in the next four years and 2 GWs of offshore wind in the next decade under a bill passed into law this year. Now Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has rolled out a strategy for enacting the state’s new energy policy for the next decade, focusing on renewables, energy storage and electric Vehicles.
“The clean energy sector has the power to create new business opportunities, expand customer access to renewable energy, and spark the high-demand jobs of the 21st century,” Northam said. “Virginia can shift to a more modern electric grid that is reliable, affordable, resilient, and environmentally responsible—and the Commonwealth can lead this critical industry as a result. This plan sets an ambitious path forward for Virginia, and I am confident we will charge ahead towards progress over the course of my administration.”
Solar and wind power had taken longer to take root in Virginia than in many other states. But in the past few years reenable energy has grown quickly in part because large companies like Amazon pushed for large renewable energy installations to power their facilities in the state. Now, for instance, it has about 635 megawatts of solar power installed.
With the passage of state Senate Bill 966, the state will work to modernize its electric grid planning process. The new plan set forth by Northam will require utilities in the state to invest $115 million annually into energy efficiency programs. In addition it calls for the state to develop new solar purchase options for small businesses and corporate customers, as well as expanding community solar projects.
The renewable energy industries supported the plan Northam and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy issued. "With its 2018 Energy Plan, the Commonwealth of Virginia has taken another important step to expand solar energy and promote innovative technologies over the next 10 years. Governor Northam deserves credit for his leadership on clean energy and for establishing goals that are aligned with business and the public’s desire for energy that is affordable, creates jobs, protects the environment and grows Virginia’s economy,” said Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
The plan also will establish electric vehicle targets for the state and sets renewable energy targets for the state’s agencies. State agencies now have a 16 percent renewable procurement target and a 20 percent energy efficiency target.Tweet