Going Green: Arlington Schools Says Solar Energy Will Save Them $4 Million
Arlington County schools recently signed a contract for a power purchase agreement with Sun Tribe Solar, a firm based out of Charlottesville. Energy created by the solar panels will be supplied to the schools at a fixed cost, and the schools will not have to pay any fees for the installation. The agreement, which is a smart financial move for the district, will save the school district an estimated $4 million over the course of the 25-year contract. Read the story here.
Solar Coming to Virginia Coal Country
In an effort to diversify the economy of Virginia’s “coal country,” the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia has been searching for ways to bring solar to the region. Negotiations are underway with a Richmond-based solar group, NCI, to install 1.5 MW of solar energy in various locations across Wise County. An important aspect of NCI’s proposal is the promise to train and hire local workers for the installation and maintenance of the project. The economy in this region of Virginia has relied primarily on coal mining for many years, so the promise of reeducation and employment of the local workforce is an important aspect of transitioning to solar. Read the story here.
Plans for Wind Farm Construction in Botetourt County Remain on Hold
Plans for a wind farm in Botetourt County have been discussed for the last two years, but no concrete plans have surfaced. Apex Clean Energy hopes to build 25 wind turbines on top of North Mountain and has received the necessary permits from federal, state, and local officials. However, the company has pushed back its intended construction date multiple times. The main obstacle for the project has been finding a utility willing to commit to purchasing the energy produced by the project. Despite this, Apex contends that the project will move forward, just not as quickly as they had hoped when the project first became public. Read the full story here.
Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods Partner to Transform the Future of Sustainable Energy
Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods have entered into a joint venture called Align Renewable Natural Gas. The purpose of the endeavors is to capture waste methane gas created by pig farms and convert it into natural gas for local homes and power companies. The first projects will take place in Virginia, North Carolina, and Utah. The goal of this partnership is to simultaneously reduce the harmful emissions that result from both the agriculture and energy industries and to aid in state efforts in greenhouse gas reduction. Dominion’s CEO said both “companies recognize the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the future of our planet.” Read the story here.