Month: October 2017

You may have heard about a lot of the new solar initiatives across the state of Virginia, but have you heard how Tesla, the electric car maker, is working with four Virginia schools on solar contracts?

 

Press releases from the summer show the company opening a second store in Virginia with Gov. McAuliffe expressing support for Tesla, saying “they should be able to sell their cars here.”

 

However, the company is also working with the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia to add 1.3 megawatts of solar power to four campuses — Lynchburg College, Virginia Union University, Randolph Macon College and Washington and Lee University.

 

Robert Lambert, president of CICV, is quoted as saying that the event “highlights the leadership of Virginia’s private colleges in embracing renewable energy.”

 

The project is also being underwritten by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot initiative aimed at promoting solar energy around the country. In Lynchburg, the project will take the form of panels on top of the college’s health sciences building and several parking lots.

 

When you scratch the surface, this project actually goes a little further than you’d expect — along with the four schools that have officially signed on, there is a list of 12 additional schools that are already in Sunshot grants, and projected to participate with CICV. These include Appalachian School of Law, Bridgewater College, Eastern Mennonite University, Emory and Henry College, and Mary Baldwin University in Stanton.

 

It’s easy to see how what’s good for Tesla is good for the solar industry — electric cars need electric energy, and drive greater demand for utility power that can be generated from solar infrastructure. Replacing a gallon of gasoline with energy straight from the sun is an excellent way to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and curb fossil fuels consumption. So it’s no surprise that Tesla is among the many companies both big and small looking at solar expansion in the near future.

Virginia solar installation

If you’re a small business, adding a solar infrastructure to your properties aligns you with these big companies and state offices. There is a lot of incentive right now to make a change in your energy consumption model and benefit from renewable, sustainable energy in Charlottesville and around central Virginia. Sun Day Solar can help you to implement this type of project well — looking into government grants? Do you have questions about practical installation? Let us help to guide you through the process of getting your own solar project done to give your business or property more “green value.”

We’ve talked a lot lately about big solar plans by Virginia utilities and energy providers, and some of those big Amazon projects that are adding tons of capacity to Virginia’s solar network, but there are also other very different efforts going on in other parts of the state to help smaller solar systems contribute to the network that brings green, renewable power into the state.

 

This past summer, the Progress Index reported on a farmer’s forum in Dinwiddie near Richmond, Virginia, in a rural area where local farmers grow crops like tobacco, wheat, corn and soybeans. You see a lot of these idyllic fields as you travel from north, south or west towards some of Virginia’s beaches and recreation areas on the coast. What you may not notice is that more of these farmers are being served with solar energy.

The Progress Index report shows how farmers are considering building-mounted or ground-mounted solar systems to profit from sustainable energy, and quotes Goochland Cooperative Extension representative Bob Whitehead as saying that farmers have “lots of ways” to use solar energy. In addition to providing power for tractors and field vehicles, some of these local agricultural agencies are also recommending other types of systems, for example, solar-powered aquaponics and other innovative projects that help producers bring various types of food to market.

 

Meetings like this one which was held by Virginia Corporate Extension and funded by the Virginia Tobacco Commission are promising ways to attract farmers to what more and more small business owners and property owners are realizing — that by installing new affordable solar systems, they’re positioning themselves for the future, and able to reap the rewards year after year. Solar customers can source their own power, and even contribute some back to the local energy grid with available net metering systems from utilities like Dominion and Appalachian Power.

 

You don’t have to be a farmer to get in on the ground floor of Virginia’s solar revolution — talk to Sun Day Solar about any type of custom solar plan to equip your property or business with what it needs to harness the natural power of the sun. We help our customers to find practical ways to implement renewable energy production that will leave the earth in a better condition for our children and grandchildren — to really do our part to help protect the planet for the long haul.

At Sun Day Solar, we’re closely following advancements in central Virginia utility administration that have to do with enormous potential for the future of solar energy.

 

Here’s a bright bit of news that shows how big the solar trend is in this area — Dominion Energy, one of the largest utility providers in the region, has filed something called an Integrated Resource Plan for this year with the Virginia State Corporation Commission and the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Reportedly, in this IRP, there are eight alternative projections, each of which adds 5200 megawatts of new solar capacity during the next 25 years, and predicts that by 2032, more than one third of the company’s service area will be getting served by renewable solar energy.

 

All of this and more is included in a report from Virginia Water Central News Grouper, put out in May of this year, documenting all of the amazing improvements in solar energy production that have been happening since 2015. There’s even a useful index of Virginia counties tied to summaries of individual projects. The report covers the 1.1 megawatts of solar energy delivered by installations in Albemarle County public schools, as well as the big new project on the roof of the University of Virginia’s Clemons library that’s projected to produce 200,000 kilowatts a year.

 

Elsewhere, the report also documents some of the massive solar farms set up by Amazon in the state of Virginia, including the Accomack County facility, that have gone online in recent years. From coastal areas like Virginia Beach to rural central Virginia counties and everywhere else in the state, solar is taking on in a big way. Backed by the governor’s office and other significant players, Virginia is getting serious about implementing renewable energy solutions. For more, talk to Sun Day Solar about how you can get into the solar community, and how feasible it can be to make your business or property greener and enjoy sustainable energy sourcing for the future.