Virginia

VIRGINIA

Virginia is located on the East Coast of the United States, midway between the southern tip of Florida and the northern coast of Maine. The state stretches almost 430 miles west to east and includes the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula on the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay. The coastal plain that occupies the eastern part of Virginia includes the nation’s largest coal export port. To the west, the flat coastal plain meets the rolling hills and basins of the Piedmont region along a boundary known as the Fall Line because it is characterized by rapids and waterfalls. However, most of the state’s hydroelectric power plants are further west, where the rolling hills of the Piedmont rise into the Blue Ridge Mountains. The valleys and ridges that occupy the western part of the state are parallel to the spine of the Appalachian Mountains and, along with the Appalachian Plateau, contain most of the state’s coal, the primary energy resource produced in Virginia. The Appalachian Plateau, which cuts across the southwestern corner of Virginia, also holds almost all the state’s crude oil and natural gas fields. Nearly two-thirds of Virginia is forested, and the state’s widely distributed forests hold abundant biomass resources. Virginia has offshore wind energy potential as well. Uranium, the source for nuclear fuel, has been discovered near the state’s southern border. The deposit, although not developed, may be one of the nation’s largest.

Natural gas fueled 60% of Virginia’s electricity generated in 2019 with nuclear supplying 30%, renewables 6% (which includes hydroelectric, biomass and a bit of solar).

Virginia’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed about one degree in the last century, and Virginia is one of seven states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast to have record sweltering heat in July, 2020. Predictions are that by 2050, the typical number of heat days will increase from more than 10 days to nearly 60 days a year. Temperatures are not the only noteworthy statistic in Virginia. The sea is rising one to two inches every decade. Higher water levels are eroding beaches, submerging low lands, exacerbating coastal flooding, and increasing the salinity of estuaries and aquifers. And, in 2020 two Virginia cities experienced their wettest year on record. In the southwestern part of the state the city of Lynchburg picked up nearly 70 inches of rain, surpassing 2018 as the wettest on record.  It was also 0.1 degree shy of their warmest year on record. Things played out similarly in the city of Roanoke, which saw nearly 63 inches of rain beating the previous record from 2018.  Roanoke also tied 2012 and 2019 for the warmest year on record, with an average temperature of 59.5 degrees.

Any doubt about the state’s long-term commitment to renewable energy faded when Gov. Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act in April 2020. Not only does it require Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power to be carbon-free by 2045 and 2050 respectively, but it also specifies that having a target of 16.7 gigawatts of solar power produced in Virginia would be in the “public interest.” Additionally, the bill promises to make the state a leader in offshore wind and in energy storage, to shutter nearly all of its coal-fired power plants,  and includes provisions to cap energy bills for low-income households. By August, the governor officially joined the Regional Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-invest program in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic that places a limit on electricity sector emissions. Virginia is the first southern state to join.

The largest utility in Virginia, Dominion Energy began its response by divesting its natural gas holdings in November 2020 and then selling its Questar Pipeline subsidiary in October 2021. Dominion Chair, President and CEO Robert M. Blue said in a statement. “This transaction represents another significant step in our evolution as a company, allowing us to focus even more on fulfilling the energy needs of our utility customers and continuing growth of our clean-energy portfolio, including development of the largest offshore wind farm in North America.” Dominion also responded with solar and batteries, proposing 15 new energy projects and 32 third-party power purchase agreements, including 11 utility-scale solar projects, a standalone battery energy storage project, and a collaboration between Dominion and the Nature Conservancy to develop one of the first utility-scale solar projects on former surface mines in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia.

Five years ago, there were no utility-scale solar facilities in Virginia. Since then, they have exploded. In 2020, more than 1.4 gigawatts of solar were installed, making Virginia 4th in the country (behind only California, Texas and Florida). With this growth has come a building friction between the state’s ambitious renewable energy goals and the desire of many rural communities to preserve productive farmland and, their agricultural heritage.

Virginia is one of twenty-four states, along with Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

Virginia Seeks Millions of Dollars in Federal Funds Aimed at Reducing Pollution and Electrifying Transportation and Buildings

By Jake Bolster 04/01/24
Virginia is seeking millions of dollars in federal funds this month for state and local government programs to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases. The state outlined its most urgent emissions-reduction strategies in a Priority Climate…
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Virginia wildfire map: See where fires are blazing as some areas deal with road closures

By Gabe Hauari 03/21/24
Wildfires broke out in northern and northwestern Virginia Wednesday, and the National Weather Service says Thursday's conditions could bring "increased fire danger" as well.
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Virginia Lawmakers Try to Use Budget to Rejoin RGGI – But Success Is Questionable

By Hannah Chanatry 03/16/24
Closed-door negotiations during Virginia’s budget process may have undercut lawmakers’ plans to rejoin a regional emissions reduction program. State lawmakers on Saturday approved a $65.5 billion budget proposal that includes an amendment demanding state agencies…
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Teen plaintiffs ask Virginia Court of Appeals to allow climate change suit

By Brad Kutner 03/12/24
A group of Virginia teens argued for their right to a livable environment at the Virginia Court of Appeals Tuesday morning.
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Climate change education legislation in Virginia advances

02/16/24
Virginia's House Bill 1088, which would require the state board of education to aid local school boards with instructional materials on climate change and environmental literacy, passed the House of Delegates on a 53-46 vote…
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Virginia Lawmakers Show Historic Support for Critical Environmental Issues

02/15/24
Virginia state lawmakers marked the midpoint of their 60-day legislative session on February 13 with historic support for environmental issues.
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Dominion project gets final permitsDominion wind project gets final 2 permits

By Dave Ress Ricmond 01/31/24
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued its final approval of Dominion's construction and operations plan. This is a detailed plan for building and operating an offshore facility that the bureau reviews for its…
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2.6 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project Gets Final Federal Go-Ahead to Begin Construction

By Adnan Memija 01/30/24
Dominion Energy has received the last two major federal approvals needed to begin construction of its 2.6 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project, located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach in the…
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Climate change education legislation in Virginia

01/12/24
Virginia's House Bill 1088, prefiled on January 10, 2024, by Betsy B. Carr (D-District 78), would, if enacted, require the state board of education to aid local school boards with instructional materials on climate change…
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Major Flooding Across Chesapeake Bay Watershed Highlights Need for Lasting Solutions From MD and VA Legislators

01/09/24
Today, communities across the Chesapeake Bay watershed are experiencing severe coastal flooding. Strong onshore flow, mixed with heavy rainfall and high winds, is resulting in significant flooding and erosion along the coast, streams, and creeks…
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Yes, this sinking island in Virginia is being threatened by climate change

By Kaitlyn McGrath 12/13/23
Tangier Island sits in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay between the Eastern Shore and the Northern Neck of Virginia, accessible only by boat or a small plane. Everyone knows everyone, cars are replaced by…
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The federal government released its latest climate report. Here’s what it says about Virginia.

By Eliza Noe 11/22/23
The federal government released its latest National Climate Assessment, the first since 2018. Scientists from across the country contributed, detailing the country’s current climate risks.
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Firefly Solar Announces Exciting Expansion into Virginia

03/13/24
Firefly Solar is elated to announce our expansion into Virginia, marking a new chapter in our mission to deliver renewable energy solutions. This growth reflects our ongoing success and the broadening of our service areas…

Grown Here at Home: Virginia Tech receives $80M grant to accelerate climate-smart agriculture

03/04/24
Virginia Tech has received a record $80 million grant to pilot the Alliance to Advance Climate-Smart Agriculture program. It rewards producers for implementing climate-smart practices on their farms.

Renewable Energy Initiative Could Help More Virginia Farmers Implement Underutilized Technologies Like Wind Power

02/27/24
Agricultural producers in the commonwealth could soon benefit from a new initiative the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are launching today to help farmers cut costs and increase income…

Virginia outlines vision to decarbonize industries, move to clean energy

02/23/24
Virginia has outlined a sweeping new path forward to cut climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions and transition to renewable energy.

Wind Power Is Taking Over A West Virginia Coal Town. Will The Residents Embrace It?

02/21/24
Keyser, West Virginia, was once known for coal. But the jobs have been disappearing. First because of automation, then cheap natural gas. And now, the urgency to address climate change is one more pressure on…

Virginia lawmakers delay decision on Dominion Energy’s offshore wind monopoly

02/15/24
Renewable energy advocates have vowed to double down next year on legislation designed to enable competition with Dominion Energy on offshore wind projects serving Virginia.

Port of Virginia says it’s now using 100% clean energy

01/25/24
Hundreds of thousands of pounds of cargo move through the Port of Virginia each day, handled by massive pieces of equipment like cranes, forklifts and straddle carriers.

State would gain power to approve large solar and wind projects over local objections under proposed legislation

01/24/24
A pair of Virginia lawmakers want to give state regulators more authority to sign off on proposed large solar, wind and battery storage projects if such projects face certain local hurdles.

Virginia Climate Resiliency Efforts Advance in General Assembly

01/23/24
Multiple efforts progressing in the Virginia General Assembly would strengthen the state’s carbon emission reduction and adaption work. These proposals would lead to significant advancement in the Commonwealth’s resilience to climate change risks.

Climate Change in the EPA Mid-Atlantic Region

01/19/24
The impacts of climate change in the Mid-Atlantic Region have the potential to harm human health, disrupt livelihoods, and damage property, including the infrastructure and ecosystems that provide crucial services across the region. Recent news…

Virginia legislation aims to unleash competition to speed progress on clean electricity

01/19/24
Newly empowered Virginia Democrats are pushing legislation this session that would elevate the role of customers and private developers in meeting the state’s clean energy targets.

Siting Renewable Energy Projects in the Commonwealth of Virginia: Why State Law Implementation Remains Stalled at the Local Level

01/11/24
Compared to other regions, the Southeast’s vertically integrated utility business environment dampens project development interest from independent power producers. However, a binding renewable energy statute sends a market signal to developers that the state is…

Feds pitch Virginia on loan opportunities for renewable energy transition

12/11/23
The federal government is pitching Virginia on loan opportunities to help pay for the state’s transition to renewables, saying federal funding can reduce the financial burden passed on to ratepayers.

Driving Clean Transportation Forward in Virginia

12/06/23
NRDC's new national report, a snapshot of each state’s decisions on transportation-related policies and investments, ranks the Commonwealth 18th out of 50. The Scorecard ranks each U.S. state on a number of different metrics, including…

Sky NRG Solar Inc.: Pioneering Clean Energy Solutions in Reston, Virginia

06/16/23
Reston, Virginia, is home to a forward-thinking company at the forefront of the clean energy revolution—Sky NRG Solar Inc. With its commitment to sustainable solutions and cutting-edge solar technologies, Sky NRG Solar is reshaping the…

Dominion reviving plans to build a natural gas peaker plant in Chesterfield

06/14/23
Dominion is reviving pre-pandemic plans to build a natural gas peaker plant in Chesterfield County as part of its recently announced strategy to invest in more gas generation to meet growing grid demand in the…

HOW VIRGINIA TOOK ON DOMINION ENERGY

06/13/23
This is an old-fashioned story about monopoly power, dirty money, bipartisan corruption, consumer exploitation, and what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called “the curse of bigness.” It’s also the story of a recent victory over…

Virginia repurposes old mines for renewable development

06/07/23
State officials believe they can turn an epidemic of mine closures to their advantage by developing a growing number of abandoned properties into renewable energy hubs, leveraging millions of new funds to bring private developers…

Dominion Energy submits request to City of Richmond to withdraw from ‘clean energy park’ proposal

06/01/23
Dominion Energy has started the official process to cancel the “”Clean Energy Park” proposal for electric vehicle charging in downtown Richmond.

A backed-up grid threatens clean energy growth from Virginia to Illinois

05/30/23
Backlogged power grids could be the biggest barrier to meeting U.S. decarbonization goals — and the grid operators in charge of clearing those backlogs and expanding grid capacity for solar, wind and battery projects are…

Virginia community solar boosters hope state follows path of D.C., Maryland

05/16/23
Despite setbacks, community solar advocates in Virginia remain upbeat that recent policy breakthroughs in neighboring Maryland and the District of Columbia will benefit their case in the next legislative session.

Port of Virginia goes all in on renewable energy sources to fulfill green supply-chain demand, CEO says

04/28/23
At the behest of its suppliers and customers, the Virginia Port Authority is pushing ahead on a plan to go fully carbon-neutral by 2040. That means the group will purchase all of its power used…

Dominion’s renewable projects approved by regulators despite cost concerns

04/14/23
Dominion’s regulators on Friday approved a suite of renewable energy projects proposed by the utility in a move that goes against State Corporation Commission staff’s recommendation to deny two projects because of cost concerns.

Virginia enacts multiple laws aimed at developing SMRs

03/29/23
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) signed multiple bills into Virginia law in the last week intended to promote the development of small modular reactors (SMRs).

Solar farms in southwest and central Virginia cited for environmental violations

03/29/23
A company that built and is now operating seven solar farms across southwest and central Virginia has been cited for violating state regulations meant to control erosion and sedimentation.

Appalachian Power releases annual clean energy plan

03/24/23
Smith Mountain Lake is widely known as one of Virginia’s most popular recreation destinations, but it also serves another important purpose – providing electricity to thousands through its Appalachian Power hydroelectricity dam. Hydroelectric energy, or…

Virginia General Assembly split on whether to pursue nuclear power more aggressively

03/13/23
When Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin unveiled his energy plan this fall that pushed for the development of small modular nuclear reactors in the state within a decade, critics were quick to call the goal overambitious…

Dominion ‘on track’ with $9.8 bln Virginia offshore wind farm

02/09/23
Dominion Energy Inc (D.N) executives said on Wednesday that the electric utility's $9.8 billion offshore Virginia wind farm is on track and on budget, having recently entered a critical phase of the environmental review process.

Virginia Senate passes competing energy legislation

02/08/23
The Democrat-controlled Virginia Senate passed legislation Tuesday that would adjust the way state regulators set and oversee Dominion Energy's electric rates and profitability.

Advocates, Dominion clash again over utility reform legislation in Virginia

01/30/23
Competing bills could help determine how much customers pay for Dominion Energy’s clean energy transition. <strong>Advocates, Dominion clash again over utility reform legislation in Virginia</strong> is an article from Energy News Network, a nonprofit news…

In Virginia, carbon emissions drop as data centers boom, thanks to RGGI pact

01/16/23
An environmental policy professor explains how the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is helping Virginia lower its emissions amid a data center building spree that’s expected to drive a 38% increase in electricity use by 2035.…

Virginia approves 1 GW solar and energy storage expansion by Dominion Energy

03/17/22
The Virginia State Corporation Commission has given Dominion Energy the green light on a planned 1,000 MW renewable energy expansion, including what will become Dominion Energy Virginia’s largest solar-plus-storage project to date.

Va. to end ‘carbon tax’ as emissions reduced from cleaner power

03/17/22
Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed Executive Order 9 on Jan. 15 to direct the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) to examine the impact of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and “start the process of…

Giant, turbine-installing ship is Dominion Energy’s $500M bet on U.S. offshore wind

03/08/22
Shipbuilders in the port city of Brownsville, Texas, are nearing the halfway mark on shaping 14,000 tons of steel into a vessel designed to ensure the country’s gamble on offshore wind is less dicey.

In Virginia, abandoned coal mines are transformed into solar farms

03/03/22
In 2019, the Nature Conservancy acquired 253,000 acres of forest in the central Appalachian Mountains that it calls the Cumberland Forest Project. It’s one small part of the group’s efforts in the mountain range, which…

RFP Alert: Appalachian Power seeks 150MW of West Virginia solar

02/17/22
West Virginia utility Appalachian Power released an RFP requesting 150MW of solar capacity in the state. Eligible projects must be at least 50MW in capacity, with the option to include a battery-energy storage system.

Virginia clean energy job training program climbs its own learning curve

01/25/22
The hands-on solar panel lesson for rookies at Sankofa Community Orchard in mid-January might have been a bust if student Mary Lewis hadn’t shown up with her A-game — and her F-150 pickup truck.

How to address climate locally? These 6 places have plans

01/05/22
While much of the nation’s attention to climate adaptation has focused on large coastal cities with outsize risks, some of the most forward-leaning climate policies are coming from less urbanized places such as Marina, Calif.;…

Groups urge bigger targets, more equity as RGGI states consider changes

12/21/21
As the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, undergoes a thorough review by participating states, environmental advocates are demanding more ambitious emission reduction targets and a mandate for equitable distribution of the revenues.

Virginia adopts bold clean energy law

11/02/21
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act Saturday, enacting bold legislation that will require zero-carbon generation of all energy in the state by 2050. This landmark legislation, which SELC worked hard to…

Virginia Joins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Finally

11/02/21
In a tweet this July, Governor Ralph Northam announced Virginia’s determination to tackle climate change by officially joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-invest program in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic that places a…

Rural counties wrestle with solar power demands from Northern Virginia

10/11/21
The Fauquier County Planning Commission has rejected two proposals to build utility solar fields on farmland in the county. The Culpeper County Board of Supervisors voted down a plan to construct a solar field covering…

Dominion Energy to sell Questar Pipeline to Southwest Gas for $1.9B

10/05/21
Richmond-based Dominion Energy Inc. has reached an agreement to sell its Questar Pipeline subsidiary to Las Vegas-based Southwest Gas Holdings Inc. for $1.975 billion, the Fortune 500 utility announced Tuesday.

Utility Dominion continues push towards Virginia clean energy targets with solar and batteries

09/20/21
US utility company Dominion Energy Virginia has proposed 15 new energy projects and 32 third-party power purchase agreements (PPAs), totalling 1GW of power, which Dominion Energy claimed was the largest group of clean energy projects…

Dominion acquires 20MW Virginia battery

09/17/21
Dominion Energy Virginia has acquired the 20MW Dry Bridge energy storage project from East Point Energy for an undisclosed price.  

Dominion proposes 1 GW of new Virginia solar + storage by 2023

09/16/21
Dominion Energy Virginia, in its annual clean energy filing with state regulators, has proposed a 1 GW portfolio of new solar and energy storage projects in the state to make progress toward the goals of…

The Nature Conservancy, Dominion Energy Announce Innovative Collaboration for Solar Development on Former Coal Mine in Southwest Virginia

09/13/21
The Nature Conservancy and Dominion Energy Virginia today announced an innovative collaboration to develop one of the first utility-scale solar projects on former surface mines in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia.

U.S. solar developers see opportunity in America’s post-industrial lands

By Dan Rhys and Nichola Groom 06/23/21
 On a recent spring morning, coal mine operator Dale Murray stood atop a stretch of land in western Virginia that had been dozed flat by mountaintop strip mining, and he enjoyed the panoramic view it…

Appalachian Power contract with public authority customers to include renewable energy programs, other new services

By Chris Galford 06/22/21
Finalization of a new four-year contract between Appalachian Power and public authority customers, including schools and governments, was reached last week, ensuring access to renewable energy programs and other new services in Virginia.

Dominion Energy Virginia Customers to Benefit from a Stronger Grid, Expansion of Renewable Energy

06/22/21
Dominion Energy Virginia customers will continue to experience more reliable service, new tools to manage energy usage, and greater access to clean energy sources as efforts continue on the Company's ten-year plan to transform the…

What will it take to modernize Virginia’s public transit systems?

By Wayatt Gordon 06/15/21
A bus stop in a bucket is by no means representative of the average amenities provided by transit systems across the commonwealth, but the all-too-common sight is far from befitting 21st century public transportation.

Harnessing the wind: Historic offshore wind project now producing energy off Virginia Beach coast

By Andy Fox 06/14/21
Dominion Energy is investing billions of dollars to change the energy equation in Hampton Roads, Virginia and the United States as a whole.

Appalachian offers all-renewable electricity to its customers — for a price

By Laurence Hammack 06/05/21
Two years ago, Appalachian Power Co. offered a deal to its customers: For an extra $4.25 a month, all of their electricity would come from wind, water and sunlight.

HB 1965 State Air Pollution Control Board; low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program.

By Lamont Bagby 05/11/21
State Air Pollution Control Board; low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program. Directs the State Air Pollution Control Board to implement a low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program for motor vehicles with a model year of 2025 and later.…

A Year After Clean Economy Act, VA Sees Renewable Jobs Expand

By Diane Bernard 05/04/21
One year after Virginia adopted its Clean Economy Act, workforce development and new jobs in clean energy are booming in the state, as its economy expands into renewable-energy industries.

McAuliffe releases plan to address climate change, secure Virginia’s clean energy future by 2035

By Chris Graham 03/25/21
Terry McAuliffe is back at it with bold plans, the latest promising to reach 100 percent clean energy by 2035, aligning Virginia with President Biden’s climate goals.

McAuliffe releases plan to address climate change, secure Virginia’s clean energy future by 2035

By Chris Graham 03/25/21
Terry McAuliffe is back at it with bold plans, the latest promising to reach 100 percent clean energy by 2035, aligning Virginia with President Biden’s climate goals. “Climate change is one of the greatest threats to…

HB 1965 State Air Pollution Control Board; low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program.

By Lamont Bagby 01/11/21
State Air Pollution Control Board; low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program. Directs the State Air Pollution Control Board to implement a low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program for motor vehicles with a model year of 2025 and…

Preparing for Climate Change in Virginia

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Virginia is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Virginia enacts Clean Economy Act – Renewable Energy Standards and Carbon Free Future Achievable

By Duane Morris 08/20/20
On August 17, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act (the “VCE Act”), which establishes mandatory energy efficiency standards and provides a pathway for new investments in solar, onshore wind, offshore wind, and energy storage.

Virginia’s Strategy for Safeguarding Species of Greatest Conservation Need from the Effects of Climate Change

04/11/19
From the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Conservation Network, and the National Wildlife Federation, this report is to be appended to Virginia's Wildlife Action Plan. It forms the basis for wildlife inventory…

Virginia Climate Change and Resilience Commission Report to the Governor

04/10/19
In December 2015, the Virginia Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission issued its report and final recommendations to then Governor Terry McAuliffe. The report identifies the Commission's top five recommendations for climate action in the…

KEY RESOURCES

Virginia State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/19/21
Virginia is located on the East Coast of the United States, midway between the southern tip of Florida and the northern coast of Maine. The state stretches almost 430 miles west to east and includes…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

10/06/20
EcoAdaptpartnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to assess the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in 16 U.S. states.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Virginia

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Virginia experienced three tropical cyclones, six severe storms, two winter storms, and one freeze. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Virginia

08/07/20
Virginia Climate and Energy Facts

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

02/28/20
Virginia’s diverse geography and abundant natural resources benefit agriculture, industry and commerce and provide a rich environment for people, plants and wildlife. To ensure the continued vitality of what the Commonwealth has to offer, the…

The Virginia Renewable Energy Alliance

02/28/20
Advancing renewable energy at all levels in Virginia through finding common ground and serving as an authoritative resource.

VIMS Initiative for Coastal Climate Change Research

02/13/20
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) of the College of William and Mary is committed to conducting state-of-the-art scientific research focused on marine and adjacent coastal components of the Earth system. Many of the Institute's research…

Climate Change and Virginia Forests

02/13/20
The world’s forests, including the forests of Virginia, play a large, positive role in the climate change issue. Reports estimate that forest tree growth in Virginia sequesters 6.42 million metric tons of carbon each year…

MORE NEWS

On Virginia’s rural coast, resiliency and Chesapeake Bay conservation goals collide amid sea level rise

By Sarah Vogelsong   03/31/21  
Thirty-five million years ago, a meteorite or comet tore through the Earth’s atmosphere and slammed into its surface somewhere between the county and what is now called Cape Charles. In the ruin it left behind,…
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McAuliffe releases plan to address climate change, secure Virginia’s clean energy future by 2035

By Chris Graham   03/25/21  
Terry McAuliffe is back at it with bold plans, the latest promising to reach 100 percent clean energy by 2035, aligning Virginia with President Biden’s climate goals.
Read more

VA, Birthplace of a Nation, Drives to a Cleaner Future

By Kathy Harris and Walton Shepard   03/24/21  
Virginia Governor Northam signed into law a bill to join 17 other states that have adopted or are considering adoption of a “Clean Cars” program—setting the Commonwealth up to become the leader in electric vehicles in…
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Virginia Governor Takes Action on Single-Use Plastics

By Olivia Rosane   03/24/21  
Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order Tuesday designed to phase out the use of non-reusable plastics at state institutions, including colleges and universities. The order comes the same week that Northam signed a law banning polystyrene…
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With wind on the horizon, Virginia trade school accelerates training for homegrown workforce

By Elizabeth McGowan   03/09/21  
Alan Glore’s decision to enroll in the business management program at the Centura College of Allied Health and Trades campus around the corner from his house in Newport News seemed like a logical career move.
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Visa Agreement with MP2 Energy Adds Renewable Energy Capacity to the Virginia Grid

By Jennifer Nastu   03/04/21  
Visa will power its data center in Virginia with 100% renewable energy via a five-year agreement with MP2 Energy; the data center is the company’s largest and accounts for more than a third of its…
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‘Clean Cars’ coalition wants Virginia lawmakers to address tailpipe emissions

By Elizabeth McGowan   01/14/21  
After Virginia’s General Assembly voted to decarbonize the state’s electric grid last year, an environmental coalition is steering legislators’ attention from utility smokestacks to vehicle tailpipes.
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Va. barely missed annual records for heat and rain in 2020, but the combination was unprecedented

By John Boyer   01/09/21  
Last year was nearly the warmest and wettest year on record for Virginia, and the overlap of both extremes pushed 2020 into entirely new territory compared with our weather history.
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Increased Flooding in Virginia Predicted

By Robbie Harris   01/08/21  
Scientists are documenting increasingly higher temperatures each year and climate change is not really in question anymore.
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Sunpro Solar to Expand Solar Service to Virginia

01/07/21  
MANDEVILLE, La. and RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 7, 2021 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Sunpro Solar, a leading provider of solar energy and battery storage in the U.S., announced its most recent expansion to Virginia. The company’s expansion…
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$1.80 fee approved for Appalachian Power customers in Va.

01/07/21  
$1.80 fee approved for Appalachian Power customers in Va. (wsls.com)
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Service fee for Appalachian Power customers approved by SCC

By Laurence Hammack   01/06/21  
State regulators have approved a service fee of $1.80 a month for most customers of Appalachian Power Co., which will be used to protect lower-income ratepayers from the increased costs of switching to renewable energy.
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States & Cities Are Driving Climate & Clean Energy Progress

By Kit Kennedy   01/06/21  
It was the year that never seemed to end. The 2020 blows kept coming as the inter-related crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial brutality, climate upheaval, and economic recession inflicted hardship and loss on so many. With millions…
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Dominion Energy to test private LTE in Virginia

By Kelly Hill   01/05/21  
Dominion Energy’s Virginia subsidiary has received permission from the Federal Communications Commission to test a private LTE network at 900 MHz.
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Woman, 27, Is Walking From California to Virginia to Help Raise Money to Fight Climate Change

By Jason Duaine Hahn   01/05/21  
A 27-year-old woman will be spending most of 2021 walking more than 2,000 miles in the name of climate change advocacy.
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New report highlights vast potential for large-scale solar in southwest Virginia

By SB Staff   01/04/21  
A new playbook for local governments will help Southwest Virginia communities develop large-scale solar energy projects, taking advantage of the region’s widespread and largely untapped potential for solar development. The report, Large-Scale Solar Development: A Playbook for…
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An early look at climate and energy bills in the 2021 session

By Ivy Main   01/04/21  
Last year Virginia’s General Assembly passed more than 30 separate clean energy bills, which together put Virginia on a path to zero-carbon electricity by 2050, enabled massive investments in renewable energy, storage and energy efficiency and…
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Saving Virginia’s Old Growth Forests One Tree Stand at a Time

By James A Bacon   01/04/21  
This is my kind of environmentalism: The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has purchased more than 800 acres in Giles and Bland counties to preserve two old-growth forest communities dominated by northern red…
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Virginia needs to take next steps in reaching the clean energy finish line

By Jeff Mckay   12/28/20  
As the largest and most diverse locality in Virginia, Fairfax County leads by example. That is particularly important in the fight against climate change. The Virginia General Assembly finally created opportunities, including the Virginia Clean…
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Virginia opts not to join climate initiative, but may consider it down the road

By Tyler Arnold   12/23/20  
(The Center Square) – Virginia was not in the first slate of states to join the Transportation and Climate Initiative, which proponents argue will help fight climate change and opponents assert will increase costs for…
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Virginia isn’t quite ready to put a ring on the Transportation and Climate Initiative

Sarah Vogelsong   12/22/20  
Virginia isn’t committing just yet to join the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a regional proposal that aims to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector using a cap-and-invest model already in use for power plants.
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Dominion Energy submits plan for second CVOW phase

12/21/20  
Dominion Energy has filed with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) the construction and operations plan (COP) for the 2,640-MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project.
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Dominion files plan for next phase of Coastal Virginia

12/18/20  
Dominion Energy has filed a construction and operations plan with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for the 2640MW next phase of the Coastal Virginia offshore wind farm off the US east coast.  
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Virginia’s legacy coal country looks to solar for economic growth

By Jean Haggerty   12/17/20  
Pro-solar groups have developed a guide for how municipalities and counties can encourage solar projects in Southwest Virginia, and The Nature Conservancy is eyeing the value that solar can bring to one of its big…
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Dominion Energy must start planning now for coal plant transition

By Elizabeth McGowan   12/16/20  
An energy think tank has issued a dire warning to Dominion Energy: Devise a transition plan for its 8-year-old underperforming coal plant now or risk leaving a Southwest Virginia county in more of an economic…
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New guide outlines potential for large-scale solar projects in Southwest Virginia

By Kelsey Misbrener   12/16/20  
A new playbook for local governments will help Southwest Virginia communities develop large-scale solar energy projects, taking advantage of the region’s widespread and largely untapped potential for solar development.
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Virginia draws criticism for approving new natural gas power plant near predominantly Black community

By Emma Penrod   12/15/20  
The Virginia Air Pollution Control Board has approved a permit for the construction of a new 17 MW natural gas power plant to service the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia, despite criticism from environmental groups who say…
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This regional plan tries to tackle climate change by 2030. Does it go far enough?

By Bill Pugh   12/15/20  
The region took an important step this past November to address the climate crisis. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) Board of Directors, comprising local elected official representatives, adopted a 2030 Climate and Energy Action Plan…
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21 Virginia Schools Now Using Solar to Lower Carbon Footprint

By Emily Holbrook   12/14/20  
Twenty-one schools across Virginia are reducing their carbon footprints by powering their operations with solar energy through a partnership between BrightSuite Solar, a subsidiary of Dominion Energy, and Sun Tribe. This partnership brings together two of Virginia’s leading renewable energy…
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Virginia taps Rob Young, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, for science expertise

By Melanie Threlkeld McConnell   12/14/20  
Rob Young, director of Western Carolina University’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, was recently appointed by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to a technical advisory committee as part of the Virginia Coastal Master Planning…
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Protecting Paradise: Climate change and the new abnormal

By Randie Rieland   12/13/20  
It seems that almost anyone who makes their living off the land in Rappahannock has a 2018 story.
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As solar farms multiply across Virginia, officials reckon with land use challenges

By Sarah Vogelsong   12/01/20  
Just above the North Carolina border, in the heart of Southside Virginia, Halifax’s sunshine and abundant lands yielded some of the country’s largest crops of brightleaf tobacco. Mild and fragrant, the yellow-leaved variety sometimes known…
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On Virginia’s far Atlantic flank, a cherished store of salt marshes is being lost

By Sarah Vogelsong   11/16/20  
On a still day, floating in a flat-bottomed boat in the waters that stretch like sheets of glass between the mainland and the barrier islands off Virginia’s Eastern Shore, it’s hard to believe anything in…
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Three states — Maryland, Virginia, N. Carolina — to collaborate on offshore wind projects

By Patricia Sullivan   10/29/20  
The windblown coastal states of Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina will join forces to build offshore power projects and promote the region as a hub for offshore wind energy and industry, the states’ governors announced…
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Dominion Energy Acquires Central Virginia Solar Project

By Dominian Energy   10/14/20  
Dominion Energy (NYSE: D) announced today that it has acquired the 62.5-megawatt (AC) Madison Solar generating facility in Orange County, Va., from Cypress Creek Renewables. The project, which will be owned by Dominion Energy's contracted…
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Dominion files to keep Virginia’s North Anna nuclear plant operating 80 years

By Robert Walton   09/08/20  
North Anna Units 1 and 2 are currently licensed to operate through 2038 and 2040, having received original licenses in 1978 and 1980, respectively. If renewed, the combined 1.9 GW units would be able to generate carbon-free…
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Appalachian solar effort a reality after backers powered through setbacks

By Elizabeth McGowan   09/02/20  
A new initiative announced Wednesday will install up to 12 megawatts of solar power in Virginia’s historic coalfield region over the next three years. Persistence should be Adam Wells’ middle name. The nonprofit organizer’s vision…
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Siemens Gamesa forms Coastal Virginia O&M team

09/02/20  
Siemens Gamesa is working with marine and subsea solutions provider Acteon to jointly provide a fully integrated operations and maintenance (O&M) package for Dominion Energy's 12MW Coastal Virginia offshore wind pilot project off the US…
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Energix Renewable Energies Establishing U.S. HQ In Virginia

08/31/20  
Energix Renewable Energies Ltd., one of Israel’s largest renewable energy companies, will invest $1.1 million to establish its U.S. subsidiary headquarters in Arlington County, VA. The company also considered North Carolina and South Carolina for…
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Cities With the Highest Flood Risk in Every State

By Andrew Lisa   08/23/20  
Floods accounted for three of the 14 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage in the United States in 2019. In total, flooding impacted 14 million Americans last year and put another…
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Dominion Energy acquires solar facility in Virginia

By Dave Kovaleski   08/20/20  
Dominion Energy acquired the 62.5-megawatt Madison Solar facility in Orange County, Va., from Cypress Creek Renewables. The facility is expected to enter service in the second quarter of 2022. About 660 acres of land in…
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Virginia enacts Clean Economy Act – Renewable Energy Standards and Carbon Free Future Achievable

By Duane Morris   08/20/20  
On August 17, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act (the “VCE Act”), which establishes mandatory energy efficiency standards and provides a pathway for new investments in solar, onshore wind, offshore wind,…
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Northam signs renewable energy legislation

08/20/20  
Legislation that aims to accelerate Virginia’s transition to carbon-free energy generation has been ceremonially signed. Governor Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act on Tuesday, establishing energy efficiency standards and providing a pathway for…
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Virginia Takes Historic Steps to Secure a Clean Energy Future

08/18/20  
Governor Ralph Northam celebrated Virginia’s once-in-a-generation progress on clean energy by ceremonially signing historic legislation that accelerates the Commonwealth’s transition to a carbon-free future August 17.
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Clean Economy Act: Virginia takes historic steps toward clean energy future

08/17/20  
Gov. Ralph Northam today celebrated Virginia’s progress on clean energy by ceremonially signing historic legislation that accelerates the Commonwealth’s transition to a carbon-free future.
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Dominion Energy and Duke Energy cancel the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

07/05/20  
Dominion Energy (NYSE: D) and Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) today announced the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (“ACP”) due to ongoing delays and increasing cost uncertainty which threaten the economic viability of the project.
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Inside Clean Energy: With a Pen Stroke, New Law Launches Virginia Into Landmark Clean Energy Transition

04/19/20  
During the months that Virginia state Sen. Jennifer McClellan worked to pass a groundbreaking clean energy law, she liked to say that the process was like trying to land a plane that was on fire.…
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Social cost of carbon could further sway Virginia from fossil fuel power plants

By Elizabeth McGowan   04/10/20  
The Virginia Clean Economy Act will force state regulators to factor in indirect costs associated with carbon emissions.
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Virginia becomes the first state in the South to target 100% clean power

By David Roberts   03/12/20  
State Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Del. Rip Sullivan, two key supporters of Virginia’s energy bill, celebrate its passage. | Mary Rafferty The state’s Democratic majority is doing what Democratic majorities do. Over the last decade…
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Ongoing Funding Would Keep Virginia on Track to Restore Native Oysters

02/20/20  
Investments in reefs will pay dividends for communities, ecosystems.
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