- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) last week signed into law six bills aimed at boosting clean energy jobs, growing solar generation and expanding the state's economy, the Daily Press reports.
- The governor said that building jobs in Virginia is a top priority, and the emerging clean energy sector shows potential for economic growth and diversity.
- Among the bills approved is a measure doubling the allowable generation capacity of a solar net energy metering facility.
Gov. McAuliffe has signed into law a half dozen bills aimed at growing the state's clean-energy economy, saying in a statement that "building a new Virginia economy is my top priority."
"The emerging clean energy jobs sector provides a tremendous opportunity for economic growth and diversification," McAuliffe said. "The legislative initiatives signed today are key components of my Virginia Energy Plan and will significantly expand solar generation, energy efficiency programs and green jobs in the commonwealth."
Among the bills, one will create the Virginia Solar Energy Development Authority to "facilitate and support the development of the solar industry and solar-powered facilities." Another bill establishes that the state is in need of 500 MW of solar power, and allows utilities to recover the cost of constructing or purchasing a solar facility with capacity over 1 MW.
A third part of the package aims to promote energy efficiency by expanding a loan program that funds efficiency projects and clarifying how costs are evaluated to speed approval of efficiency programs.
“Energy is a strategic growth sector both in Virginia and the entire United States providing good jobs and good wages,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “Because of the commonwealth’s significant assets, we have tremendous opportunities in this important arena.”