For Immediate Release:
January 4, 2017
Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov
Governor McAuliffe Announces 40MW of New Solar Capacity in Virginia
~Permits issued for two new solar facilities in Essex County and Powhatan County~
RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe today announced the recent issuance of permits for two new solar projects to be built in Virginia. The first, a 20 megawatt (MW) facility under development by Coronal Development Services, will sit on approximately 275 acres in Dunnsville, part of Essex County. The second, also with 20 MW of capacity, will be constructed by Virginia Solar on a 720 acre parcel in Powhatan County. The projects are a significant step in Virginia’s larger initiative to move towards mixed-use energy generation.
“These projects build on the important investments we are making in the solar industry across Virginia,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This simultaneous announcement is a testament to just how fast the Commonwealth’s solar sector is growing. Solar energy is a central part of the comprehensive energy approach Virginia needs to keep costs low for businesses, families and taxpayers as we build a new Virginia economy.”
The permits were issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality through its “Permit by Rule” process. This streamlined regulatory framework supports the speedy deployment of renewable energy infrastructure while assessing the potential environmental impacts of new facilities.
“With this increase in solar capacity, the Commonwealth is taking concrete steps towards a sustainable future,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward. “Today’s announcement clearly demonstrates the viability of Virginia’s solar sector and represents a big win for energy consumers and the environment alike.”
Governor McAuliffe is an active supporter of renewable energy and Virginia’s solar industry. Since he took office, the Commonwealth has seen a 10-fold increase in its installed solar capacity, growing from 17 MW in 2014 to more than 188 MW at the end of 2016.