Helping Middle School Students Explore Solar Technology at Locust Grove Middle School

By |2018-06-08T10:01:15+00:00June 7th, 2018|Charitable Giving, Company Update, News, Virginia Solar|

By Seth Maughan At SolUnesco, “community” is one of our core values, and we make it a goal to give back to the communities in which we operate. As such, we were thrilled to recently support the learning of solar concepts at Locust Grove Middle School. The school is located just down the street from the Madison Solar Farm, a proposed 400-acre, 60-MW solar farm, on which SolUnesco worked to get zoning approval from the County last year. On May

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

By |2018-06-06T11:51:40+00:00June 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+00:00May 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+00:00May 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+00:00February 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+00:00February 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

Local Permitting, SolUnesco’s 101

By |2018-03-05T20:24:56+00:00January 29th, 2018|Land Use, Virginia Solar|

January 29, 2018 By Francis Hodsoll For nearly a decade, my business partner and I have devoted our hearts and considerable time to developing a sustainable solar energy market in Virginia. However, the local permitting process poses a significant risk to the long-term viability of the market. In this companion piece to Seth’s previous blog post on our successful permitting experience in Orange County, Virginia, we offer our perspectives on local permitting and the concerns typically raised by local communities. 

Community Engagement Wins Board Approval for SolUnesco’s Orange County Solar Project

By |2018-03-01T23:16:47+00:00December 20th, 2017|Company Update, Virginia Solar|

As solar developers, we believe in our mission and the positive impacts of our work. Even so, we should never assume that a community will embrace a new solar energy generating plant. Local permitting can be the most precarious stage of utility-scale solar development. It’s the only stage where the people who decide your project’s fate don’t follow a uniform rubric. A county official may be able to deny your project for any reason. As a result, politics and emotion

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

By |2018-06-21T11:07:00+00:00September 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

Gillespie, Like Many VA GOP, Supports All Energy Forms

By |2018-06-21T11:36:57+00:00July 13th, 2017|Policy, Virginia Solar|

Under Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia has seen a rapid growth of its renewable energy market, particularly with solar energy development. With the upcoming gubernatorial election, it has been unclear how much support renewable growth will continue to receive from Richmond; While Democratic candidate Ralph Northam is committed to the status quo set up by McAuliffe, Republican Ed Gillespie has been silent on renewables – his campaign site only touts a desire to work with the White House in promoting the use of fossil