Large-Scale Solar Development: A Playbook for Southwest Virginia

The Solar Workgroup, in partnership with SolSmart and the Solar Foundation, has created an introductory guide for local governments to facilitate large-scale solar projects in Southwest Virginia. The playbook is directed to municipal and county governments that have an essential role to play in encouraging large-scale solar projects. The first section provides an overview of state and national trends, including recent state legislation that will impact local oversight of solar development. This is followed by an overview of the solar project approval process from a developer’s perspective. The next section is an overview of the state and local permitting process for solar projects, followed by other development considerations such as local tax revenue options, financing incentives, and considerations for solar on brownfields and previously mined lands. The playbook concludes with a step-by-step guide for local governments to facilitate large-scale solar development.

Related Criteria

  • PZ-9: Ensure the zoning ordinance establishes a clear regulatory pathway for large-scale solar PV (e.g. through a special use permit or through inclusion among allowed conditional uses).
  • GO-4: Conduct feasibility analysis for solar PV on local government facilities and/or local government-controlled land.
  • GO-6: Install solar PV on local government-controlled brownfields and/or under-utilized properties.
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