Amazon is launching renewable energy projects in Virginia and Ireland
Amazon just announced its intention to build two large-scale renewable energy projects. One is a wind farm in Ireland, and the other is a solar farm right here in Virginia. The proposed installation is set to be built in Pittsylvania County and will begin producing energy in 2020. The farm’s capacity is 45 megawatts, which will be used to offset the massive energy needs of Amazon’s data centers. Virginians hope that this project will bring jobs and economic growth to its rural areas and promote a greener energy future. Read the full story here.
Fairfax County plans a historic solar buy—if Dominion Energy doesn’t stand in the way
Fairfax County announced in June that it hopes to install solar at up to 130 of its county facilities and schools. It has sent out a request for proposals to companies to install panels for a mixture of roofs, ground-mounted solar, and canopies over parking lots. Approximately 15 solar companies attended a bidder’s conference, and the county hopes to select a contractor by this fall. However, the county is likely to run into issues with Virginia’s current laws on power purchase agreements, which caps PPAs at 50 MW. Read the full story here.
Despite Court Rulings, Atlantic Coast Pipeline Still On Track, Dominion Says
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been met with a significant number of challenges, as it is viewed by many as an uneconomic investment that also poses threats to the environment. One of the latest challenges was a failed permit that is required from the Fish & Wildlife Service. It was rejected due to concerns about four endangered species. The Fourth Circuit Court has also ruled that the Pipeline cannot cross the Appalachian Trail, but the US Supreme Court has recently agreed to take up the appeal. Despite this, Dominion still contends that the pipeline is still on track to be built. Read the full story here.
Virginia utility could become statewide test case for solar net metering
Customer solar installations have become very popular in Harrisonburg, Virginia, which is threatening to exceed the utility-imposed cap on net-metering. The city’s utility, the Harrisonburg Electric Commission, previously set the cap at 1% of the utility’s peak demand for the previous year. Ultimately, they reached a decision to raise the cap to 2% to avoid any issues in the near-term. This decision, however, will have larger implications for discussions surrounding the policy rationale behind caps on net-metering. Read the full story here.