The push to increase rooftop solar energy in Virginia is expanding, but some homeowner associations have prohibited solar panels in their communities. Most HOAs no longer have the power to deny property owners who want to install solar panels.
The law, passed last summer, expanded Virginia’s Energy Policy’s support for rooftop solar, but after some Blacksburg Home Owners Associations denied residents permission to put up the panels, solar advocates asked for clarification on the law.
A new fee on solar electricity is being proposed by Appalachian Power Company. Solar advocates in Blacksburg hope to persuade regulators that adding additional costs will hamper the push toward renewable energy, which is part of a state mandate.
The press releases were flying Tuesday as two North Carolina companies announced they would work with Dominion Power to build a 550-mile gas pipeline through Virginia. Governor Terry McAuliffe called a news conference to express his support for the project, and environmentalists expressed dismay.
When it comes to offshore wind energy development, some environmental organizations say Virginia leaders are on the right track, but they need to greatly pick up the pace. An alliance that includes Environment Virginia and the Virginia Conservation Network says other East Coast states are eyeing wind-turbine dominance. The groups say the slow-moving Commonwealth could lose out on many of the benefits associated with its development.