It’s a juxtaposition between the old and new: an effort to expand solar energy use in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia. Leading this work is the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia, a group of nonprofit and community action agencies, colleges, state agencies, planning district commissions, and other interested citizens and businesses seeking to develop a renewable energy industry cluster in the seven coalfield counties of Southwest Virginia.
These seven counties are home to eight communities designated by SolSmart in July 2019, including Russell County.
- Created an online permitting checklist, increasing transparency for community members and solar installers.
- Reviewed local zoning codes and identified restrictions that intentionally or unintentionally prohibit solar PV development