Virginia Brownfield & Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund Passes Unanimously in House
Bipartisan bill pairing property redevelopment with renewable energy would boost Virginia's economy where it needs it most with technology's best.
RICHMOND, Va. - March 1, 2021 - PRLog -- A potentially ground-breaking energy bill has passed unanimously in the Virginia House of Delegates: the Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund and Program (HB 1925). If established the Fund would make grants to renewable energy redevelopment projects, while the Program would manage the process, monitor grant projects and report. Together, the Fund and the Program program would actively promote renewable energy redevelopment on coal mined lands and other brownfields.
For many such previously developed and environmentally impacted lands, there are few redevelopment options other than renewable energy thanks to its ever-improving economic viability.
And for most, these properties are important to their communities either as an important piece of their past, a vital piece to their brighter future, or both. So, towards rebuilding more inclusive outcomes, the bill also provides that the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, which would administer the program, must develop a handbook for these projects in consultation with stakeholders.
The bill's chief patron, Delegate Terry Kilgore, will be a featured speaker at the forthcoming Virginia Solar Summit, where he will join the Solar Power Policy Panel on March 16 at 9:30AM. The virtual and free Virginia Solar Summit will assemble the planet's foremost solar redevelopment experts for three days online, where mine land redevelopment and pairing solar panels with pollinator habitat will be feature topics in one of the year's most substantive events for ground-mounted solar energy development anywhere in the world.
Should Virginia's renewable energy redevelopment bill become law, and funded in future legislation, grants would be awarded on a basis of $500 per kilowatt of nameplate capacity from renewable energy sources that are located on previously coal mined lands and $100 per kilowatt of nameplate capacity from renewable energy sources that are located on brownfields. No more than $10 million could be awarded to any previously coal mined lands project and no more than $5 million to any single brownfield project. No more than $35 million shall be allocated per year by the grant program. And of that $35 million, $20 million shall be reserved for previously coal mined lands projects only. But, if less than $20 million is distributed to such projects, the remaining funds may be reallocated to qualifying brownfield projects.
Such federal funding could come in many forms, potentially part of a larger infrastructure effort currently underway by many in Washington D.C. This and many solar energy related topics will be taken up during the Virginia Solar Summit's three illuminating days: March 16, 17 and 18.
Learn more & sign up for the Virginia Solar Summit at: https://virginiasolarsummit.com