Solar industry hails Virginia’s passing of landmark green economy bill

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Image credit: Stephen Poore / Unsplash

Virginia’s lawmakers have drawn praise from the solar industry over the adoption of legislation that mandates 100% carbon-free electricity and sweeping energy storage targets.

On Wednesday, US solar body SEIA hailed the tentative passing of the so-called Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) at the state assembly this week.

The draft bill – which needs another hearing in the bicameral state legislature before it can become hard legislation – will roll out a renewable portfolio standard that utilities and suppliers must incorporate all the way to 2050, helping the state’s grid become fully renewably-powered by that year.

As adopted this week, the VCEA offers support to rooftop solar and offshore wind, and requires Virginia utility Dominion to shutter all its six coal power plants by 2030. In addition, the legislation commits the state to deploying 3.1GW of energy storage systems by 2035.

In a prepared statement this week, SEIA shared estimates that VCEA will – if adopted – create nearly 30,000 jobs, pump “billions” into Virginia's economy and help boost solar uptake among the state's citizens.

“Virginia now has the opportunity to be a national leader in responsible clean energy growth. We urge the Virginia Assembly to continue to advance this historic bill,” said Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs at the PV body.

See here for a story offering additional background on VCEA's passing, written by Energy-Storage.News editor Andy Colthorpe

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