The addition of hundreds of solar panels on the roof of the UVA Clemons Library has gotten a lot of attention this spring, in news outlets and locally, as state government officials made their appearances.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe visited the campus in April to witness the ribbon cutting ceremony for an installation that’s estimated to produce nearly 200,000 kWh of electricity each year.
“When I came into office, there were 17 megawatts of solar electricity being generated, and now there are 1,600 megawatts either approved or in production now,” McAuliffe said April 18, according to UVA Today. “And we have gone from 1,600 to 3,500 jobs in the solar industry. That is twice the number of jobs in coal in the state.” Now, the Clemons Library project is in full swing, turning the natural energy of the sun into useful services to students. But the library project is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to UVA’s aggressive move towards renewable energy.
University reports show that the university is poised to buy solar electricity from a major solar farm in Hollyfield, and will also lease building space rooftop to local energy utility Dominion, to get even more solar power into the local grid. To go even greener, UVA is also analyzing its transport fleet and looking at energy conservation in certain areas of operations, for example, in scientific lab environments.
All of the above work that the university is doing shows the passion that Charlottesville residents have about clean energy and green unity. The university isn’t the only stakeholder in the drive to make Charlottesville and Albemarle County a standard-bearer for solar power. More business owners and homeowners in the community are looking to connect themselves to that network of renewables, to source their own energy needs from the sun, rather than from coal or natural gas or oil.
SunDaySolar can help. We have experience helping clients to navigate various grant options and otherwise work toward renewables in the most affordable and efficient ways. Ask us about the potential for changing your energy model and going solar in 2017. We can help to plan the best ways to get solar installations on site for a property or commercial project. Ask us about what types of businesses can apply for REAP grants and economic opportunities to make a solar project a better deal, and what kind of solar is best for your needs.