November 29, 2017
The Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia has released a report detailing a multi-faceted strategy for establishing a vibrant solar energy hub in the coalfields of far Southwest Virginia. “The Roadmap to Accelerate the Solar Industry in Far Southwest Virginia” explores the fundamental issues of:
- Accessing capital and financing options
- Promoting policies that support the solar industry
- Building workforce development and solar value chain opportunities
- Maximizing community education
The roadmap also identifies 15 local “ambassador sites” — residential, commercial and community-scale — that are ideal for solar installations in the near-term, and which would then serve as models for further deployment of solar projects.
The Solar Workgroup was founded two years ago to explore the viability of employing solar energy to help revive the economy of the seven counties of far Southwest Virginia, where communities are re-imagining their future as the coal industry continues to decline. The Workgroup is co-convened by Appalachian Voices, People Inc., and the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, with facilitation assistance from Dialogue + Design Associates.