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
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.
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
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
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
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
We have good news! On April 6th Virginia’s Tax Commissioner, Craig M. Burns, issued a letter clarifying the valuation of solar projects within the Composite Index. The bottom line: these solar farms will provide a net revenue benefit to the county. As previously stated, bureaucratic bookkeeping could have inadvertently ground Virginia solar development to a halt by reducing county revenue when new solar farms are built. The following is the third of three installments highlighting SolUnesco’s research on the Virginia
Bureaucratic bookkeeping may inadvertently grind Virginia solar development to a halt. The state government is assessing this issue and we understand a decision will be issued in due course. This is the first of three installments highlighting SolUnesco’s research on the Virginia Composite Index and its impact on solar electric generation. To download our complete findings, click here.
Bureaucratic bookkeeping may inadvertently grind Virginia solar development to a halt. The State government is assessing this issue, and we understand the state will issue a decision in due course. The following is the second of three installments highlighting SolUnesco’s research on the Virginia Composite Index and its impact on solar electric generation. To download our complete findings, click here HOW IS SOLAR TAXED? Covered in Part One of this series, the Composite Index (CI) may ignore the solar tax exemption
Renewable energy can drive enormous job growth, and local investment, with some reports estimating that it will generate over 55,000 additional job-years worked right here in Virginia by 2030. The key to tapping this potential is integrating new sources of energy into the existing electric grid. Since the grid is heavily regulated, this means finding policy solutions that give new sources of energy the space they need to grow. That is why many in the solar industry strongly advocate for