Culpeper Approves First Solar Energy Generation Project
The board of supervisors for Culpeper County recently voted to approve its first ever solar project. The conditional use permit narrowly passed with a vote of 3-2 after a three-hour-long public comment period, in which many members of the community came out in support of the project because of its economic benefits. NextEra Energy, a large generator of renewable energy, will be responsible for the development of this utility-scale solar project. The 40-year project is expected to generate $1.7 million in county tax revenue. Read the story here.
There’s a Lot to Like in Northam’s Energy Plan, but Missed Opportunities Abound
Over the summer, the Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy (DMME) worked to create a new Energy Plan for the Northam Administration. It was just released to the public in its final form and includes some promising aspects, such as energy efficiency, solar, offshore and onshore wind, and clean transportation. There are, however, a number of issues with the plan, including a lack of support for distributed energy in addition to the utility-scale projects. To find out more about the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan, read the story here.
Data Centers to Dominion: Don’t Use us to Justify More Power Plants
A group of technology companies have challenged Dominion Energy’s conclusion that more natural gas projects are necessary to keep up with demand in the Commonwealth. Adobe Systems, Akamai Technologies, eBay, and Equinix, among others, stated that most data centers, which make up a large source of their increasing energy demand, are looking for renewable energy. Four of the signing companies have committed to 100-percent renewable energy in the near term. As a result, the letter states, access to renewable energy will play a significant role in determining where these data centers are located, calling into question a major source of Virginia’s future economic prosperity. Read the full story here.
The Northam Administration Wants a ‘Prominent Role’ for Virginia in Offshore Wind. Can They Pull it Off?
Virginia DMME Director John Warren spoke at the American Wind Energy Association conference, explaining Virginia’s intention to play a “prominent role” in the American offshore-wind industry. He explained his belief that surrounding states, such are Maryland and North Carolina, could benefit from working in conjunction with one another to develop supply chain strategies and efficiently build out the necessary infrastructure. The conference saw a similar sentiment of cooperation among states in attendance, as many are beginning to realize that there are abundant opportunities for offshore wind. Read the story here.