WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Maryland-DC-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA) welcomed news that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed into law the 2018 omnibus energy bill. The measure, Senate Bill 966, encourages the growth of renewable energy in the Commonwealth by designating 5.5 gigawatts of solar and wind energy to be in the public interest and initiating a process to modernize the state’s power grid to make adoption of renewables easier.
Following is a statement from Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s vice president of state affairs:
“The solar industry commends Governor Northam’s leadership in convening stakeholders around Virginia’s energy future. Designating 5.5 gigawatts of clean energy to be in the public interest is a great first step to help Virginia spur solar development and catch up with neighboring states which are already clean energy leaders.
“However, we must ensure the grid modernization process that this bill initiates is data-driven, solicits the public’s input, and is not a blank check for a utility to spend consumers’ money with little accountability. We look forward to engaging with Virginia utilities and lawmakers throughout this legislation’s implementation process.”
Following is a statement from David Murray, MDV-SEIA’s Executive Director:
“This law is the result of utilities, manufacturers, small businesses, and consumer advocates agreeing upon one thing: solar is a smart investment for Virginia. We will continue working toward policies that ensure the Commonwealth takes full advantage of the jobs and economic development opportunities offered by solar energy.”
Virginia is the 20th largest solar state in the U.S., with 291 megawatts of cumulative solar capacity installed. Without factoring in the new law, Virginia is projected to install 1,777 megawatts over the next five years, the 11th most in the nation. The state’s solar industry employs 3,565 workers, ranking it 21st among states.
Celebrating its 44th anniversary in 2018, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 250,000 Americans. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, remove market barriers and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.
MDV-SEIA represents solar installers, developers and manufacturers throughout Maryland, D.C., Delaware, and Virginia. The association analyzes and communicates the market impacts of state and local energy policy, and helps to shape these policies in the region. MDV-SEIA’s leadership has resulted in expanding community solar programs, increasing state-level incentives, and providing education to further expand development and access to clean energy technologies. Visit us at www.mdvseia.org