Realizing the Economic Benefits of Solar: The Virginia Solar Workforce Initiative

By | 2018-06-06T11:51:40+00:00 June 6th, 2018|Construction, Industry, News, Southeast, Virginia Solar|

by Francis Hodsoll and Jon Hillis Solar is Growing in the US More and more companies have made the commitment to purchase renewable energy as part of their sustainable business strategies. Large enterprises such as Microsoft, Kohl’s, Apple, The North Face are powered by solar, while Google, Marriott, McDonald’s and a majority of the Fortune 100 consider access to renewable energy as part of their investment decisions. Numerous companies have established their operations in locations where they can access solar

Supplying Solar Energy in Virginia

By | 2018-05-24T15:08:11+00:00 May 23rd, 2018|Industry, Land Use, Virginia Solar|

By Francis Hodsoll and Jon Hillis We often receive questions about how the transmission of solar energy works here in Virginia. In addition, we often are asked about the supply of solar and how that matches up with the demand for renewable energy. Read on for some insights into these two questions. The State of Solar Supply in Virginia (May 15, 2018) Currently, in Virginia, there are 10 in-service utility-scale solar energy projects totaling 327 MWs that have completed the

Embracing Solar Can Attract Business Investment to Virginia

By | 2018-05-18T14:43:10+00:00 May 17th, 2018|Industry, News, Southeast, Virginia Solar|

By Seth Maughan Earlier this Spring, Microsoft announced some big news. The Company broadcast "the single largest corporate purchase of solar energy ever in the United States." On the heels of two large purchases in Singapore and India, Microsoft closed a deal to purchase 315 megawatts (MW) of solar in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This purchase brings Microsoft closer to the Company’s goal of having their data centers rely 60% on renewable energy by 2020. Governor Northam praised the deal,

SolUnesco White Paper: Solar Myths Busted

By | 2018-06-20T13:19:46+00:00 February 8th, 2018|Industry, Land Use, Virginia Solar|

Background This white paper is a companion piece to our two previous blogs on local permitting (Hodsoll and Maughan). In our local permitting blogs we provided our perspectives on best practices for local permitting and how we engage with the local community. We write this white paper to discuss some of the issues and concerns that are raised by the community during this process. All of us engaged in the industry have heard the naysayer’s arguments. From the most bizarre

Solar Industry’s Richmond Legislative Meet and Greet

By | 2018-03-01T23:11:37+00:00 February 5th, 2018|Industry, Policy, Virginia Solar|

February 5th, 2018 By SolUnesco Last Tuesday, the Solar Industry’s regional association (MD, DC, DE & VA Solar Energy Industry Association – MDV-SEIA) hosted a Meet and Greet at the Virginia Credit Union League in Richmond, VA. The event provided opportunities for Virginia legislators to get to know the local solar industry and learn more about solar energy legislation that we supported. The event highlighted several Bills which were the result of a two-year mediated process called the Rubin Solar

Fiscal Impact on the County: How does Solar Compare to other Land Uses?

By | 2018-06-21T11:07:00+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Industry, Land Use, Virginia Solar|

This post references research and analysis from an original SolUnesco white paper, which can be downloaded in full, here. Much has been said about the recent plummeting costs of solar technology, and the corresponding ability for utility-scale projects to legitimately compete with more conventional forms of generation. While this is certainly a reality, it is also conditional. Solar profit margins are generally still too slim to overcome less-than-ideal project conditions. The most elemental development ingredient is land; in order to

Solar Power Southeast: Does Passion + Wisdom = Resilience?

By | 2018-03-05T20:43:18+00:00 May 31st, 2017|Company Update, Industry, Southeast, Virginia Solar|

Despite scary challenges, strength and optimism While the Suniva trade case – potentially a devastating price increase especially for utility-scale – loomed largely, attendees eagerly packed presentations.  The audience’s questions provided an interesting barometer to the psyche in the room.  Participants focused on where we are going and how to get there.  Further, the evolving business models continue to pry open market segments.  We are tenacious! Even in markets dominated by utilities such as Florida Power & Light, some competitors

The Dominion IRP in Four Graphs

By | 2018-03-01T23:42:54+00:00 May 12th, 2017|Industry, Policy, Virginia Solar|

Overview On May 1, Dominion filed its 2017 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), in which Dominion announced a sharp pivot toward solar. Dominion’s commitment to building out more solar capacity, along with the decisions they make regarding how they participate in development and ownership, will determine market opportunities for those segments of the industry.

The Latest Buzz: Solar Farms as Pollinator Sanctuaries

By | 2018-03-01T23:48:12+00:00 April 26th, 2017|Industry, Policy|

Overview Pollinators, such as honeybees and butterflies, are the unsung heroes of agriculture. However, their populations have been collapsing in recent years, creating a crisis for farmers who depend on them. Solar developers have started creating habitat sanctuaries to help reverse this trend.

Rick Perry and the DoE, What Does it Mean For Renewables?

By | 2018-03-02T00:11:30+00:00 January 25th, 2017|Industry|

When Donald Trump tapped Texas Governor Rick Perry to lead the U.S. Department of Energy, many critics were quick to respond. We were reminded of the time when, during one of his own unsuccessful presidential bids, Gov. Perry vowed to eliminate the DOE, then forgot its name on national television. It has also been pointed out that he does not come with the same scientific expertise as former DOE heads; for example, his BS in Animal Science does not quite