Oct 2, 2018

Powering Up for the Future: Renewable Energy Trends in Virginia

Preston Bryant, senior vice president on McGuireWoods Consulting’s infrastructure and economic development team, wrote a series of reports focusing on the growth of solar power and renewable energy in Virginia. 

The reports, published in Virginia Town and City, rel="noopener noreferrer" the magazine of the Virginia Municipal League, discuss the impact of the Grid Transformation and Security Act, passed by the 2018 Virginia General Assembly. In his analysis, Bryant breaks down the legislation, expanding on grid modernization, the authorized growth of solar and wind power, consumer protections and relief, and energy efficiency investments.

“Virginia has seen unprecedented growth in solar capacity over the past few years, and it’s not slowing down,” wrote Bryant. “This year, it’s anticipated that nearly 400 MW of additional solar capacity may be installed — and nearly 1,800 MW over the next five years, tripling current capacity.”

In addition to the expansion of solar power in Virginia, Bryant discussed community energy planning within the state.

“Community energy plans are often broad initiatives to package energy efficiency and conservation, more diversified energy production, and better-integrated land-use and transportation planning.”

Local governments are implementing energy plans throughout the state, including a five-year climate action plan in the city of Roanoke and an initiative in northern Virginia called “Eco-City Alexandria,” that focus on green buildings, energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy, alternative transportation and green vehicles.

Finally, Bryant ends his reports with a discussion of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) law, which allows localities to establish by ordinance a PACE loan program for energy- and water-improvement projects. This gives them the opportunity to partner with private-sector lenders to assist in financing energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation programs for privately owned buildings.

 

This article is part of a series of reports on our experience in the energy sector. Read other articles in the series: