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Virginia has lately become the goldmine of solar power. Why?

Posted on Nov. 26, 2019 by Sanghamitra Sinha

“Virginia still lags far behind its neighbors like North Carolina, which has already installed over 1500 megawatts of solar—three times Virginia’s pledge.” Is it true ? you will decide after reading this blog...

Solar energy, as we have persistently informed you, had a deliberate advancement towards being the apple of the installer’s eye, over the past decennary. Indeed everyone deserves the access to this pure and abundant source of renewable energy on earth. This will help in creating a stronger, cleaner and healthier society. In the recent times, the breakthrough of solar market into the competent private sector and large customer-owned generation is a modest approach to instigate solar development in a way that supports Virginians’ preference for competitive, market-based solutions.

Installing solar has helped Virginia–homeowners with low-cost electricity bills. Throughout Virginia, natives are going into overdrive with renewable energy means to preserve their natural resources. Strong financial incentives, such as a renewable energy systems tax credit, solar easements and rights, and net metering facility have actually added value to their caprice. The motive is that, all Virginians should be able to benefit from clean energy, regardless of their income, status, living area, or whether they own their home. Let us put a glance over some of the recently occurred events considering solar evolution in Virginia.

To know more about solar net metering, kindly visit https://www.isolarworld.com/blog/solar-net-metering/ and also if you wish to know about tax credits benefits, https://www.isolarworld.com/blog/tax-credits-for-energy-storage-system-in-us/

1.Virginia Becomes a ‘Hotbed’ for Rural Solar Projects

Lately the revolution gave rise to a transparent medium which put local officials in control of permitting decisions. Growing number of population today is supporting and toiling for solar farms in rural Virginia. Developers intended to build 62 solar projects in Virginia since 2015, whereas the state Department of Environmental Quality has approved 36 permits to authorize construction and operation during that time.

“We have, oh gosh; I don’t know how many developers — more than 30, at least — with more coming in and talking to us every day,” – Mary Major, renewable energy permitting at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

Dominion energy has acquired two projects, in September totaling to 95 megawatts of generation capacity, in Suffolk and Greensville County. Along with a 2009 law that directed the Department of Environmental Quality to develop transparent, “permit by rule” regulations for solar and other renewable projects, Virginia has records of building a regulatory environment that solar developers found intriguing enough. Truly everybody is on the verge of digging out convenient rural locations to commence their well-determined solar projects. The reason behind this is the land being more affordable, than the populated regions. Herein, the considering parameters are, the cost of land, exposure to sunlight and the availability of connections to the existing transmission grid. Accomac County has led the foundation of a conditional use permit for Amazon Solar East and an educational kiosk are built with a platform that overlooks the solar fields so they could bus out school kids. Halifax County, yet another one having 830-square-mile County home to 34,500 people in the heart of Southside Virginia’s historic tobacco belt, is accounted for having witnessed, seven different proposals for solar facilities. Countries who are unknown to solar farms becomes an efficient educational aid for both local officials and the developer.

2. Facebook’s 61.6-MW Solar PPA for Operations In Virginia

The macro-social networking site Facebook has recently done a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Apex Clean Energy, including a section of 61.6-MW for its AltaVista Solar project. Next year, AltaVista is yet to emerge as the first solar energy project in Campbell County, Virginia. The actual intention behind the deal was to affirm Facebook’s relation with the Virginia state authority. It happens to be Apex’s second major transaction with the giant-social tech company this year. Earlier this year, in August Facebook signed a power purchase agreement of worth 200-MW PPA with Aviator Wind East. Having begun its operations in Coke county, Texas, this PPA is ought to become a part of the largest single-phase and single-site wind project in the United States.

“Facebook is a clear leader in driving the transition to a new energy economy and working to lay the foundation for other companies, large and small, to achieve significant carbon reduction goals with cost-competitive renewable energy,” Mark Goodwin, president and CEO of Apex Clean Energy.

Facebook being an ambitious entity apropos its global operations securing ideal renewable energy in 2020, has put a benchmark in its entire list of activities, by signing onto these solar projects in Virginia. The projects are to validate the company’s dual targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75% and supporting 100% of its operations with renewable energy in 2020.

“We’re thrilled to once again partner with Facebook at AltaVista Solar, expanding Apex’s track record of fulfilling corporate clean energy demand as the private sector escalates its efforts to decarbonize the grid. “ – Apex’s Clean Energy CEO Mark Goodwin.

With an overall estimation of 80 MW, the AltaVista Solar project is likely to generate approx. 200 jobs (full-time) while construction and over 1.5 million dollars in local tax revenue on account of the project’s 35 year long lifetime.

3. Dominion’s Largest Installation in Virginia

Dominion Energy has done an addition of 150-MW solar facility in Prince George County, Virginia. Held as the largest in Dominion energy’s solar portfolio, Fort Powhatan solar is expected to commence its operations in 2021. According to the agreement, Dominion Energy’s responsibility is to own and operate the facility, and provide the energy and renewable energy certificates to a data center under a long term contract. Going by the sustainability and environmental records, it is quite evident that Dominion Energy is one of the most sustainable companies in the United States, exceeding an estimation of 40 solar facilities totaling more than 1,500 MW of solar generation under its grasp! (they might be operational or under-development) in Virginia, latest by 2022. By its operations in Prince George County, Dominion Energy has already full-filled 45% of its resolution.

4. Virginia Solar Developers to Develop a Pollinator-Friendly Garden

Ever heard of a pollinator-friendly solar kit to persuade plant choices? Isn’t that just super-interesting? Indeed the Virginia state’s Department of Environmental Quality has stepped into this initiative with full enthusiasm. As we all can perceive, environmental conservation would seem partial without the protection of the critters thriving in it. With rising population of bees and birds, solar developers in Virginia have been practicing the concept of arrays that incorporate pollinator-friendly habitats. There is a voluntary program called Virginia Pollinator Smart, which took a year to get fully-furnished. The Pollinator Smart team also included representatives from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, as well as a bevy of subcontractors under the lead of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc.

“We certainly are moving in the direction of renewables, which we support,” Rene Hypes, environmental review coordinator with the Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage Program.

It is due to this “high-tech solar tool” that today the bees, birds and other pollinators, on thousands of acres of land will get benefitted. This is where the real power of solar lies. Besides providing us with a number of facilities in various sectors over the years, today it has also given away itself for other telluric creatures too.

”Virginia’s toolkit rollout highlights at least one new feature and several upgraded elements. For instance, the team ramped up the previous iterations of its native plant finder and its compliance scorecard.“What we had on the website before was the 1.0 version,” added Hypes, with an experience of more than 20 years at Natural Heritage.

5. Solar Plans in Virginia and North Carolina Powered by Jeff Bezos’s Amazon

The onset of three new innovative solar projects is yet to happen in Warren County, N.C., and Prince George County, (of United States and United Kingdom). The projects combined total amount is equal to 215 megawatts; and is expected to generate nearly 501,998 MWh of energy yearly. They are the Amazon’s second renewable energy project in North Carolina and eighth in Virginia, respectively. The repercussion for this would lie over our planet and economy too.

“It’s wonderful to see the announcement of these new projects, helping bring more clean energy to the Commonwealth of Virginia, where Amazon is already recognized as a leader in bringing renewable energy projects online,” Gov. Ralph Northam, D-Va.

These new projects seems to provide sundry of clean energy jobs for people of North Carolina. Also it supports Amazon’s commitment to the recently announced Climate Pledge. Its goal of reaching 80% renewable energy by 2014, 100% by 2030 and net-zero carbon by 2040 is progressing well. On reaching its completion, the newfound projects are expected to provide for 265 MW of additional renewable capacity. Till date, Amazon has launched 18 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects that is ought to generate over 1,600 MW of renewable capacity and deliver ahead of 4.6 million MWh of clean energy yearly.

“In addition to the environmental benefits inherently associated with running applications in the cloud, Amazon is committed to minimizing our carbon emissions and reaching 80 percent renewable energy use across the company by 2024,” Kara Hurst, Amazon Sustainability Director.

About iSolarWorld

The future of solar energy seems to be vibrant in Virginia. Looking at the present day innovations by the renowned companies, in and around America, we can say that investing in solar energy seems to be a wise option. We are an international organization based in New Jersey, catering valuable output to our clients through means of charts, reports and statistics. If you feel the need to associate with us for any purpose, kindly get in touch with us at info@isolarworld.com or 201.285.2024.