Photo by SecureFutures
In Virginia, electricity supplied to government entities including public schools, local governments, and state governments is regulated differently than electricity for residents, businesses, and other non-profits. These government entities, known as “Public Authorities” or “Non-Jurisdictional Customers” negotiate their electricity services as a group directly with the utility, instead of having the State Corporation Commission approve the electricity rates and services. The contract is negotiated by the “APCo VML/VACo Steering Committee” — contact information for that steering committee is available here.
Currently, contracts for these government entities in place with Old Dominion Power and Appalachian Power utilities limit the amount of solar that can be generated by these customers and how the projects can be financed. This is drastically limiting the ability of schools and government buildings to go solar, save money on their electricity bills, provide clean energy educational opportunities to students, and support local solar workforce development.
The Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia is working with its partners across the Commonwealth to help remove these barriers.
Encourage your local elected officials to sign an agreement with Appalachian Power to prevent blocking solar on schools & government buildings here.
1. Expanding access to solar on public buildings in Southwest Virginia
2. Solar for schools and government buildings in Appalachian Power’s territory (from Southern Environmental Law Center)
3. Refuting APCo’s Talking Points: Expanding Access to Solar
- Appalachian Power Restricts Solar Savings in Virginia (December 2019)
- Behind the scenes, some important negotiations over renewable energy (June 2020)
- Stalled utility contract means some in Virginia miss out on solar expansion (April 2020)
- Virginia schools’ rapid solar growth is headed for ceiling without legislative fix (November 2019)
- Solar Caps in SW Virginia (May 2020)
Webinars and Podcasts
Removing Barriers to Solar for Schools and Local Governments in Southwest Virginia Webinar, April 2020
Removing Barriers to Solar for Schools and Local Governments in Southwest Virginia Webinar, June 2020
Riding the Solar Coaster, Broken Ground Podcast, July 2019