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Youngkin Administration fails to ease new burdensome regulations on solar industry

Posted by Adam Winer on Jul 13, 2022

Treating solar panels like pavement creates unnecessary project costs, new industry research paper shows

RICHMOND, July 13, 2022 — Business association Virginia Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) expressed disappointment about new regulatory guidance issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today that fails to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens on the Virginia solar industry.

The guidance updates regulatory memos issued by Virginia’s DEQ in March that changed technical parameters of solar farm construction and maintenance. The DEQ memos claimed that because solar farms look similar to roads and parking lots on satellite imagery, solar farms should be regulated as such. Guidance released today outlined means for compliance, suggesting developers install unnecessary technology workarounds.

“Solar panels are not pavement, and solar farms are not parking lots,” said Kim Jemaine, Policy Director at Advanced Energy Economy (AEE). “Research conducted by both academic institutions and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory confirms that solar installations do not cause the kind of damaging runoff that paved surfaces do. These new regulations, which are not based on science, will hamstring a growing industry in Virginia for no valid reason.”

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Topics: State Policy, Virginia, Press Releases, Kim Jemaine

Richmond Times-Dispatch (Opinion): Smart legislation will save money, point Va. toward EVs

Posted by Kim Jemaine on Jun 11, 2022

Richmond Times-Dispatch published a column by AEE's Kim Jemaine discussing the bipartisan passage of legislation in Virginia's Senate maximizing EVs in the state. Read snippets below and the full article here.

Thankfully, the passage of Senate Bull 575 - the so-called fleet optimization bill - proved that smart, fiscally responsible legislation still can get bipartisan support, and point the commonwealth toward a smarter transportation future.

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Topics: AEE In The News, Legislative, electric vehicles, Kim Jemaine