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

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

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 Photo: Dan Rhys , Reuters 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.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

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

In Virginia, abandoned coal mines are transformed into solar farms

By Zoeann Murphy   03/03/22  
Empty freight cars line the railroad tracks as far as the eye can see from Tim Jennings’s backyard in Dante — a town of less than 600 residents. “They should open up some more new…

Experts: climate change impacting Navy base, other national security infrastructure in Hampton Roads

By Ali Weatherton   02/25/22  
NORFOLK, Va. — Climate change is a major concern for people around the world and right here in Hampton Roads. Experts say our region is vulnerable to sea-level rise. On Friday, Hampton Roads leaders along…

New Va. AG pulls out of Supreme Court climate case

By Lesley Clark  Photo: Steve Helber , AP Photo   01/20/22  
Virginia has dropped out of a coalition of states urging the Supreme Court to find that EPA has broad authority to regulate power plant emissions. Attorney General Jason Miyares (R), who took office over the…

Why RGGI is a Good Deal for Virginians

By Mandy Warner   01/19/22  
With unprecedented droughts, wildfires, floods and heat waves impacting communities nationwide, it’s clear that climate change is not a threat in some distant future – we’re dealing with its ramifications today. Virginians know this well,…

Virginia okays Dominion’s plan to deploy 1.1M smart meters

By Jason Plautz  Photo: Mark Florence , Flickr   01/11/22  
The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) on Friday approved Dominion Energy's proposal to deploy roughly 1.1 million smart meters as part of a $776 million grid transformation plan. The plan also includes investments in security,…

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

By Lisa Prevost   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.

Climate change could make Virginia’s Tangier Island uninhabitable by 2051

By Trishla Ostwal  Photo: Patrick Bloodgood , USACE   12/06/21  
Virginia’s Tangier Island is rapidly disappearing. Rising sea levels are exacerbating erosion and flooding, and could make the speck of land in the Chesapeake Bay uninhabitable within the next few decades. For years, island residents,…

Climate change could make Virginia’s Tangier Island uninhabitable by 2051

By Trishla Ostwal  Photo: Patrick Bloodgood , USACE   12/06/21  
Virginia’s Tangier Island is rapidly disappearing. Rising sea levels are exacerbating erosion and flooding, and could make the speck of land in the Chesapeake Bay uninhabitable within the next few decades. For years, island residents,…

‘Bloody expensive.’ Major U.S. offshore wind plan hits obstacles

By Heather Richards  Photo: Francis Chung/E&E News   10/20/21  
Nearly 30 miles from shore, the two turbines spin deceptively slowly, alien steel giants fixed to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. But the lonely pair are just a hint of what Dominion Energy plans…

City of Richmond to receive grants addressing flooding issues

By NBC12 Newsroom   10/06/21  
The city of Richmond is getting more than $1 million dollars in grants addressing flooding concerns. The money will go toward the McGuire and Chapel Drive Drainage improvements project, as well as the Manchester and…

Virginia awards $7.8M in local grants for flood preparedness

By Tyler Arnold   10/05/21  
Virginia awarded about $7.8 million in state grants for 19 local projects designed to address flooding, sea-level rise and extreme weather, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday. Funding for the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund grants…

Landmark EJ ruling sparks legislative reckoning in Va.

By Niina H. Farah  Photo: Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch   10/04/21  
More than a year after a watershed federal court ruling, Virginia is becoming a case study of whether environmental justice protections can get enshrined into law, or be stymied by legislative and regulatory fights.

Cost of Change Part 1: Virginia Beach residents will determine fate of plan to mitigate flooding

By Steve Fundaro   10/04/21  
The City of Virginia Beach has a plan in place to mitigate the effects of climate change, but how fast that plan is completed will come into the hands of the residents in the upcoming…

Virginia Dept. of Mines, Minerals and Energy Changes Name

By WYDaily Staff   10/04/21  
On Friday, Oct. 1, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy adopted its new moniker, the Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy). The move came after the General Assembly passed legislation for the name…

Hogan Signs Regional Climate Pact, Presses Md. Lawmakers on His Environmental Priorities

By Josh Kurtz   10/04/21  
Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) traveled to Virginia Beach on Friday for the annual meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council, a regional policymaking body consisting of the governors of the six Bay watershed states,…
EDF

3 ways Virginia can continue to advance flood resilience statewide

By Emily Steinhilber   10/04/21  
Virginians are already seeing the impacts of climate change, from sea level rise along our coastlines to increased rainfall statewide. Without action, Virginians can expect $4.1 billion in annual losses to residential, commercial and public…

Hogan, Northam meet in Virginia Beach to announce climate change directive

By Brian Reese, Brett Hall   10/01/21  
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam met with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday to commit to action on climate change and more efforts to help restore the Chesapeake Bay.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam joins coalition to address climate change in Chesapeake Bay

By 3News Now Staff   10/01/21  
A team of governors and environmentalists met at the Virginia Beach Brock Environmental Center Friday morning to talk about how to combat the effects of climate change on the Chesapeake Bay.

Meet the Virginia conservationist trying to turn old coalfields into solar farms

By Elizabeth McGowan   09/29/21  
Chatter about the potential of covering played-out coalfields in central Appalachia with solar arrays has simmered for years. Progress on the first pair of such projects is on the verge of coming to a full…

What Happens When the Sun Isn’t Shining? Virginia’s Need for Renewable Backups

By Michael Pope   09/27/21  
Virginia is in the midst of a transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. And, that transition will require new ways to store energy for when it's needed. Solar power is great when…

We need to protect communities hit ‘first and worst’ by climate change, state lawmakers say

By Erica Sweeney  Photo: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri   09/25/21  
Low-income and indigenous communities as well as communities of color are hit "first and worst" by climate change, whether it's destructive hurricanes, droughts, or extreme heat, policymaker panelists said during a Climate Week NYC event…

Can Southwest Virginia remake itself as a laboratory for renewables?

By Sarah Vogelsong  Photo: Sarah Vogelsong/Virginia Mercury   09/20/21  
In September 2020, the highwall came crashing down. For decades, the more than 75-foot-high remnant of surface mining had dominated the eastern entry to Norton, looming over the intersection of Routes 23 and 58. Officials…

Northern Virginia officials wanted to tax plastic bags for years. And now they will.

By Teo Armus  Photo: Evelyn Hockstein   09/19/21  
When Tim Lovain began pushing to limit Northern Virginia’s use of plastic bags in the mid-2000s, most local lawmakers hesitated to back him. “It felt a little lonely,” the former Alexandria City Council member said.…

Charlottesville church moves to renewable energy

By Madison McNamee   09/13/21  
St. Mark Lutheran Church just switched their primary power supply to renewable energy. This is now the largest non-profit owned solar system in Charlottesville and among the largest in the state. “The significant aspect of…

Virginia’s Coming Elections to Present Showdown Over Renewable Energy Mandates

By Collister Johnson, Jr.  Photo: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik   08/31/21  
Last year, the Virginia Legislature passed, on a party line vote, a law misleadingly labeled the "Virginia Clean Economy Act" (VCEA). This bill radically changed Virginia's energy policy, which for many years supported a balanced…

Yes, Virginia, we are seeing more — and more intense — rainfall

By Sarah Vogelsong  Photo: Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury   08/20/21  
Record-setting rainfall in 2018. A month’s worth of water that drenched Northern Virginia in an hour in July 2019. Neighborhoods that flood repeatedly in Richmond’s Southside and Petersburg. In Virginia, conversations about climate change have…

Protesters arrested after rally against Mountain Valley Pipeline in Elliston

By Pat Thomas   08/09/21  
According to Appalachians Against Pipelines, ten people locked themselves to equipment in the Cove Hollow Road area to protect such things as fish and birds the group says are native species threatened by the MVP. All…

Support heat protections for Virginia workers

By John Ryan   06/17/21  
Extreme temperatures place outdoor workers at increased risk of heat illnesses, which if untreated, can lead to death. Even though I’m generally considered young and healthy, I have experienced heat illness first hand.

For Virginia, adapting to sea level rise starts with choosing a curve

By Sarah Vogelsong  Photo: Ned Oliver , Virginia Mercury   06/15/21  
In a warming world of rapidly rising waters, there are at least nine possibilities for what tomorrow will look like at Sewells Point in Norfolk.

Contaminated water, land erosion, climate refugees: Historic Triangle, Tidewater regions could feel the secondary effects of coastal sea level rises

By EM Halter and Maggie Moore  Photo: Jonathon Gruenke , The Virginian-Pilot   06/11/21  
As land erosion and sea level rise continue to take a toll on America’s first settlements, underwater archaeologists have worked diligently in the past two decades to preserve artifacts left at the bottom of the…

It’s electric: W-JCC school division slides into renewable energy by adding electric buses to its fleet

By EM Holter  Photo: Christie Scott   06/11/21  
A crowd quickly gathered in the growing summer heat Wednesday morning to watch as Williamsburg-James City County School Division Superintendent Olwen Herron and others plugged in the first of many of its electric school buses.

America’s second offshore wind farm completes construction

By Anmar Frangoul  Photo: L. Toshio Kishiyama , Getty Images   06/03/21  
Construction work on the second offshore wind farm in the U.S. has been completed, with its two turbines installed and plans for a much larger project continuing to take shape.

Policymakers are banking on trees to cut carbon. Forest experts say Virginia needs more seedlings.

By Sarah Vogelsong  Photo: Sarah Vogelsong , Virginia Mercury   06/01/21  
In nine neat fields tucked between a bend of the South River and a Norfolk Southern line, a key piece of Virginia’s carbon-free future is taking shape.

Lots of ‘renewable’ options for energy consumers, but why are so few of them any good?

By Ivy Main   05/21/21  
Virginia residents who want to do right by the planet are confronted with a bewildering array of renewable energy and “green power” options. Unfortunately, few of these programs actually deliver renewable energy.

Google gets round-the-clock renewable energy at Virginia data centres with help of energy storage

By Andy Colthorpe   05/05/21  
Google will procure energy from a US$600 million portfolio of renewables and energy storage assets specially-designed to enable the search engine company’s data centres in Virginia to run on 90% carbon-free electricity.

Cville Launches Green Business Alliance

By Sandy Hausman   05/05/21  
Thirty percent of Fortune 500 companies have announced plans to cut carbon emissions, and now small businesses in Virginia are getting on board. The Community Climate Collaborative in Charlottesville announced formation of a Green Business…

Solar farm planned for former coal mine in Buchanan County

By Bristol Herald Courier   04/17/21  
 One of the largest solar farms in the Appalachian region is planned for a Buchanan County site on a reclaimed surface coal mine.

Council on Environmental Justice asks Northam to institute fossil fuel infrastructure ban

By Sarah Vogelsong  Photo: Sarah Vogelsong , Virginia Mercury   04/16/21  
The Virginia Council on Environmental Justice is asking Gov. Ralph Northam to issue a moratorium on all new fossil fuel projects and permits in the state.

Richmond’s clean tech startups embrace industry momentum

By Kaitlynn R. Kopinger   04/15/21  
When Ashland’s Dominion Energy Innovation Center launched its first clean tech-focused accelerator last fall, one of the startups invited to participate was Longleaf Conservation Capital.

Daunting but confident: Dominion Energy takes on what will be the country’s largest offshore wind project

By Janet Roach   04/15/21  
 Ed Baine admits the massive undertaking of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project is daunting and makes him a little nervous. But the Dominion Energy Virginia president says the benefits from the commitment to renewable energy far outweigh…

King George coal plant to be converted to solar and storage

By Sarah Vogelsong   04/14/21  
The owner of a former coal plant in King George County intends to redevelop the site as a solar and energy storage facility in another move by Virginia’s power sector away from fossil fuels to…

Southwest Virginia group wins grant to help companies move beyond coal

By Elizabeth McGowan  Photo: Lawrence Brothers Inc.   04/08/21  
Renewable energy jobs could well be on the rise in Southwest Virginia now that the region is on the receiving end of close to $500,000 sought by a couple of nonprofit go-getters.

This is How Much Renewable Energy Virginia is Producing

By Samuel Stebbins and Grant Suneson   04/01/21  
Currently, only 17.7% of electricity produced in the United States comes from renewable sources. Nationwide, wind turbines generate the most electricity, followed by hydroelectric power plants and solar thermal power. Biomass, such as wood and…

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

By Sarah Vogelsong  Photo: Sarah Vogelsong , Virginia Mercury   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,…

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.

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…

Virginia Governor Takes Action on Single-Use Plastics

By Olivia Rosane  Photo: Caitlin Finnerty , Flickr   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…

With wind on the horizon, Virginia trade school accelerates training for homegrown workforce

By Elizabeth McGowan  Photo: Elizabeth McGowan , Energy News Network   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.

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…

‘Clean Cars’ coalition wants Virginia lawmakers to address tailpipe emissions

By Elizabeth McGowan  Photo: uncredited   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.