Governor McAuliffe Unveils Energy Plan Update Highlighting Achievements in Virginia Energy Economy
~Announcement coincides with installation of solar panels at six Albemarle County Public Schools~
CHARLOTTESVILLE – Governor Terry McAuliffe today unveiled his update to the 2014 Energy Plan at a ribbon cutting for a new solar installation at Monticello High School in Albemarle County. The update, titled “Energy in the New Virginia Economy,” highlights the significant progress the McAuliffe administration has made on his strategic energy priorities to build a new Virginia economy. The event showcased the installation of solar energy generating systems at six Albemarle County public schools, totaling more than 1 megawatt of solar energy.
“Today’s installation is the perfect venue to formally unveil an update on the progress we are making toward ensuring Virginia is a leader in the global energy economy,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at today’s announcement. “The clean energy sector has been a central part of our efforts to build a new Virginia economy and that effort has paid off as revenue in the sector has grown four-fold to $2 billion. The Albemarle County Public Schools project embodies the countless benefits of growing the clean industry such as lower energy bills and carbon emissions, more education for our students, and economic activity for our local businesses.”
“To grow the new Virginia economy, we must take an all of the above approach to energy policy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “While we have attracted $500 million in capital investment in the clean energy industry, we must also ensure that Virginia consumers and businesses have access to affordable, reliable and diverse energy resources. The Governor’s energy plan update lays out how the administration’s success is driving Virginia’s energy economy forward.”
The energy plan update is a statutory requirement and lays out the accomplishments achieved under the Governor’s four strategic energy themes: strategic growth in the energy sector, best in class infrastructure, alternative fuels and advanced vehicles technology, and workforce development. Achievements under the McAuliffe Administration include: the installation of an 80 megawatt solar farm in Accomack County, the largest solar facility in the Mid-Atlantic, the creation of VirginiaSAVES, Virginia’s first state Green Community Program, receipt of a $120 million federal award to combat the effects of sea level rise in Hampton Roads, and the deployment of over 200 alternative fuel vehicles in the public sector.
The Albemarle County Public Schools solar project is Virginia’s first public facility power purchase agreement, a partnership between the public schools and Secure Futures, a Staunton-based solar developer. The project involves installing solar energy generating systems at six schools throughout the County, totaling nearly 1.1 megawatts of capacity. The project was partially funded by a rural development grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The school has entered into a power purchase agreement with Secure Futures which allows the school system to avoid paying upfront capital costs in return for paying a defined price for the energy generated over a set contract period.
To view the Governor’s “Energy in the New Virginia Economy” Energy Plan Update, please visit the Governor’s website here.