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‘Virginia Solar for All’ Applauds Historic Passage of Virginia Clean Economy Act

Friday, Mar 06 2020

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Press Release

RICHMOND, VA – Members of the Virginia Solar for All campaign applauded the historic passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act on Friday, the culmination of hundreds of hours of collaboration, negotiations, and effort by distributed solar advocates and other stakeholders. An amended version of SB 851 passed the House of Delegates Thursday, and the Senate agreed to those amendments Friday, now sending the legislation to the desk of Governor Ralph Northam.

The final version of the Virginia Clean Economy Act includes strong provisions to expand rooftop solar, including the expansion of net metering, power purchase agreements, the inclusion of rooftop solar in the mandatory RPS, mandatory investments to provide rooftop solar to low-income families, and increased project size limits for business and residential projects.

“This is historic, and there isn’t quite any other way to put it,” said Rachel Smucker, Virginia Policy and Development Manager for the Maryland Delaware Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA). “The Virginia Clean Economy Act will transform the Commonwealth’s economy, usher in a new age of energy deployment that will create a market for distributed generation like we’ve never seen before, and help turn back the tide against climate change. We are so proud of our patrons, Senator Jennifer McClellan and Delegate Rip Sullivan, as well as everyone who worked on this monumental bill, and what we’ve been able to accomplish together.”

“We’re thrilled that the Virginia Clean Economy Act is now on its way to Governor Northam for signature,” said Maggie Clark, Southeast state affairs senior manager at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “This landmark bill will transform energy use in Virginia and bring the economic benefits of solar to every community in the Commonwealth. Southeast states take note, this is how you can make progress on your clean energy goals while generating billions of dollars, creating thousands of jobs, and prioritizing access and equity.”

“From day one we have always said that rooftop solar was the economic backbone of the Virginia Clean Economy Act,” said Karla Loeb, Chair of the Distributed Generation Policy Committee for the Maryland Delaware Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association and Chief Policy & Development Officer for Sigora Solar. “With as many as 29,500 jobs set to be created, and billions of dollars of investment on the horizon, the value of the Virginia Clean Economy Act to the solar industry really is beyond significant. I’m grateful for the work of my industry colleagues and our partners to see this historic legislation through to its passage.”

“Today, it’s clear: Virginia is for Clean Energy Lovers. This legislation pulls Virginia’s inevitable clean energy future forward and allows companies like ours to create the jobs of tomorrow, today," said Devin Welch, CEO of Sun Tribe Solar. "We're going to see an impact right away for schools and local governments throughout Virginia whose projects were in jeopardy or put on hold who can now move forward and see first-hand the financial and educational benefits of solar.”

“With the passage of The Virginia Clean Economy Act, Governor Northam now has the opportunity to catapult Virginia forward as a clean energy leader by mandating a renewable energy portfolio standard that sets a clear path to meet his goal of reaching a 100% clean energy power-sector by mid-century,” said Andrew Williams, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs and Market Development at Sol Systems. “Once signed into law, the Act will create thousands of jobs and help ensure communities across the Commonwealth have access to and benefit from solar energy and will help ensure that billions of new dollars will be invested in the Commonwealth.”

“Today Virginia harnessed its citizen legislative strength with passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act. The VCEA provides a platform for Virginians to achieve clean energy goals locally while adding new jobs, attracting new organizations and investments to locate in the Commonwealth and stimulating the education and innovation skills of students from elementary classrooms through university doctorate programs,” said John Finnerty, Director of Business Development at Standard Solar.

“We are thrilled that the legislature came together to pass this game-changing clean energy legislation. This kind of bold action is what will enable companies like ours to build new businesses and bring new investments to the Commonwealth,” said Ilan W. Gutherz, Vice President of Policy and Strategy at Borrego Solar.

“The VCEA is a tremendous step forward in Virginia's transition to clean energy. It removes unnecessary barriers to rooftop solar and incentivizes homeowners and businesses to build clean, resilient energy into our communities,” said Aaron Sutch, Virginia Program Director at Solar United Neighbors.

The Virginia Solar for All Campaign is an effort by a coalition of solar companies and advocates to support the passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act. For more information, visit www.virginiasolarforall.com.

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