Skip to content

Clean Energy for All

Expanding wind and solar in Virginia in a way that benefits everyone

Virginia needs a lot of clean energy. Fast.

But succumbing to pressure from fossil fuel-funded disinformation campaigns, numerous local governments have placed limits or outright bans. Meanwhile, utilities fight to keep rooftop solar unaffordable and prevent third party developers from building commercial-scale projects.

We need solar everywhere we can to meet our clean energy needs and allow equitable access to cost-saving solar programs. We need clean energy for everyone!

Take Action Today:

Our 2-pronged approach

solar vector 2
Making Rooftop Solar Affordable
solar vector 1
Expanding Utility-Scale Solar

Rooftop Solar for Everyone

The state needs to do much more to allow for more rooftop solar for more people. Currently, the VCEA carves out 1% of utility solar goals for distributed generation. This cap was met in less than three years and should be expanded to allow for more growth in this sector. Governor Youngkin also vetoed an effort to allow Virginians to pay for solar and energy efficiency upgrades through savings associated with the panels or energy efficiency upgrades, which would have made solar and energy efficiency more accessible for many more Virginians. 

Unfortunately, Dominion continues to impose prohibitively high costs onto third-party developers of mid-size projects, squashing projects on schools and other large buildings. These interconnection fees must be reasonable to allow for more public buildings to go solar. Finally, each city and county currently has a unique process for permitting rooftop, making the approval process take months instead of days. Technology like SolarApp can cut through this red tape by providing a streamline permitting process, and the state should ensure all localities are prepared to utilize it or similar software. 

Take Action: More Solar for All! Tell your legislators to expand rooftop solar accessibility.

Ban the Bans

Local governments have recently been passing ever more restrictive ordinances that severely limit – and sometimes outright ban – ground-mounted solar projects. These local ordinances are a reaction to fossil fuel-funded disinformation campaigns that have spawned a vocal minority of anti-solar community members, often in rural localities. Sadly, these vocal minorities have drowned out the vast majority of Virginians throughout the state that want clean and affordable solar energy. 

 

This year, we are focusing on building visible support for utility scale solar in rural and ex-urban swing districts where political leaders pay close attention to politics on the ground. We are also coordinating with third party developers to elevate the stories of rural farmers seeking supplemental income from solar to maintain ownership over their farms, putting out pro-solar messaging through media, and directly lobbying key lawmakers. 

 

Take Action: Ban the Solar Bans! Tell your legislators to give solar projects a fair review.

What’s at stake if we don’t act? As heat waves increase, the risk of heat-related illnesses and deaths in Virginia will grow. Coastal flooding, which already threatens Norfolk and the Hampton Roads area, is likely to worsen as sea levels rise, potentially impeding emergency medical services. Allergy season is starting earlier and lasting longer, and asthma attacks are increasing in the southeastern United States.

We need solutions now. The world’s top scientists at the United Nations said we must cut global carbon emissions in half by 2030 in order to avert climate catastrophe. That means we have to radically change our energy economy to be powered by clean energy sources like wind and solar. 

More clean energy now!

 

To get involved in these campaigns, sign up for a one-on-one with a Virginia organizer, or fill out your volunteer interest in a survey here.