Designation Level: SolSmart Bronze
Year Designated: 2019
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
Southwest Virginia prides itself on the production of energy, and this is just a different way of continuing the energy production. Many manufacturing companies are looking for communities and counties who are forward thinking and Russell County is working to make sure we are committed to our future.
- Lou A. Wallace, Elected Supervisor at Russell County Board of Supervisors