Northam & Biden Administrations Both Setting Up to Support Burgeoning Solar Boom in Virginia

Virginia is blazing a bright trail towards supercharged solar energy redevelopment that other states are sure to follow.
RICHMOND, Va. - March 11, 2021 - PRLog -- The State of Virginia is stepping into a powerful leadership role with perhaps the nation's most constructive policy for renewable energy redevelopment on brownfields and previously mined lands. Paving a clear, bright pathway for private industry to approach these marginalized lands and work through their legacy issues, Virginia's new catalytic policy environment will help place solar power on real property with no other economically viable purpose.

Of the total 16,100 megawatts that became required when the Virginia Clean Economy Act was signed into law by Governor Northam in 2020, at least 200 megawatts "shall be placed on previously developed project sites."

Last month, a bipartisan bill sailed unanimously through the House of Delegates before landing on Governor Northam's desk, the Virginia Brownfield & Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund and Program (HB 1925), which would streamline administration for renewable projects, focus agency resources and build a robust grant program.

Fresh on the job, the Biden Administration is working similarly hard to seize opportunities manifesting in this historic moment. With infrastructure a keen focus for all, the White House is presently marshalling agencies and professionals across government to the task of redeveloping America's built-environment, and actively seeking state and local partners.

To that end, leaders from both the Biden and Northam administrations will convene next week during the free 3-day virtual Virginia Solar Summit in a public discussion of their respective renewable efforts. Featured in the morning keynote session on Wednesday, March 17, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Kelly Speakes-Backman, and Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources, Matthew J. Strickler, will share their views on the potential for solar power and discuss opportunities for further state and federal collaboration.

"Solar energy use is quickly accelerating across the country, but must grow even faster to achieve the Biden Administration's climate change goals," Acting Assistant Secretary Speakes-Backman told the Virginia Solar Summit. "That's why DOE is developing the technologies and practices that will accelerate solar deployment and ensure access to solar energy is equitable for Americans living in every part of the country."

"Under Governor Northam's leadership, Virginia has taken an historic leap forward in clean energy development and climate protection," added Secretary Strickler. "The Commonwealth can be a leader in solar energy and our land conservation strategies also require us to make sure we develop clean energy in a way that meets all of our public policy goals. We're enthusiastic about the potential role for solar on already-developed land like brownfields, reclaimed mine land, or rooftops as a vital part of Virginia's energy portfolio."

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