Top solar cities in Virginia (2021)

Virginia may not be at the top of your list when considering states that have invested heavily in solar energy. In recent years, however, Virginia has grown exponentially. A.D. In 2019, the state ranked No. 19 in the country for solar loading. He jumped to No. 4 in 2020.

But what are the top cities for the sun in Virginia? We have done some digging and we have provided a general list.


Top 10 Cities for the Sun in Virginia

In the wake of the hijacking of major solar cities in Virginia, EcoWach has taken into account solar energy data from the Institute of Energy Information, the Sun’s Radiation and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, local government websites and the latest emerging cities in the United States.

Based on this information, the following are the top cities for solar in Virginia

  1. Richmond
  2. Virginia Beach
  3. Alexandria
  4. Norfolk
  5. Roanoke
  6. Fairfax
  7. Charlottesville
  8. Newport News
  9. Danville
  10. Blackberg

EcoWatch

1. Richmond

The capital of Virginia ranks first in the state and 49th nationwide for solar PV installations. According to Shinch City, more than 22 watts of solar power per person is installed in Richmond.

2. Virginia Beach

Although Virginia Beach is best known for its large offshore wind farm, the popular tourist destination ranks second in Virginia and 61st for all solar power plants in the country. According to reflective cities, more than five watts per person is currently installed.

3. Alexandria

Alexandria received SolSmart Gold in July 2020, the program’s highest award. The city also has an impressive and new and promising renewable energy program, solar feasibility studies and more.

4. Norfolk

NREL’s Solar for All Maps show that Norfolk has great potential for solar power generation and roof-mounting. Major corporations have already received the sun in the area: even the IKEA store in Norfolk shows 180,000 square feet of sunlight.

5. Roanoke

A.D. In 2012, Roanoke participated in the United States Department of Energy’s Best Building Test in 2022 with the goal of limiting 1 million square feet of building space to 20%. A.D. In 2018, Roanoke achieved that goal with a 23% reduction in power. The city is committed to clean energy, as evidenced by the impressive Solaris Roanoke project.

6. Fairfax

Fairfax is also known as the Solstice Gold City and has its own Solarise Fairfax County initiative. The project, which offers residents free solar assessments, wholesale discounts, discounted solar panels and more, is completed for the 2021 season but may return in 2022.

7. Charlottesville

In addition to city-based solar tax credit and the Solaris Charlottesville program, the city has begun installing solar panels on government buildings. Solarized buildings include Charlottesville High School, Urban Utility Repair Building, and Ecoremod Energy House.

8. Newport News

This coastal city receives about 215 days of sunshine a year. Not surprisingly, NREL maps show the maximum capacity of the roof and the average number of buildings suitable for the sun.

9. Danville

According to NREL, Danville has significant potential for solar energy generation and generation, and the city is doing its part to turn residents into clean energy. It has developed its own net measurement program for up to 10 kilowatts of solar power, and has invested in two solar farms producing about 10 megawatts for use by customers of Danville utilities.

10. Blackberg

In March 2014, the Blacksburg Solarity Campaign was launched by Virginia’s first community, and NREL maps show its potential for solar power generation. This SolSmart Silver City provides residents with a wide range of solar-powered resources, including a solar panel installation list, information for those interested in solar activities and guidance on solar access in the state.

Where solar panels work best

There are many solar-powered cities in Virginia, but some are more suitable for PV installation. The best cities for the sun include the following

  • Suitable sun exposure; Cities that receive sunlight all year round are great places to invest in the sun, so the coastal communities we include in our list.
  • High local utility costs; In cities with high electricity costs, solar energy will be more expensive. More on this in an instant.
  • Local discounts and incentives; Some cities make solar investment more attractive by implementing local net measurement programs, tax cuts, or other financial incentives.

Average Virginia Electricity Costs

As mentioned, residents of high-energy areas will benefit more from installing solar panels. The average monthly electricity consumption in Virginia is 1,122 kWh, which is equivalent to nearby states like South Carolina and West Virginia, although higher in Maryland or Washington DC, the average monthly electricity bill is $ 135.46, the highest side compared to neighboring states.

Virginia Solar Tax Incentives

Homeowners in Virginia can use some solar tax exemptions and incentives to offset the cost of solar panels. For example, there is property tax exemption, which means that although solar panels increase home prices, they do not increase your property tax. Virginia also has an extensive net measurement program by the government, which means any surplus energy from solar panels can go back into the grid to get credit from your utility company.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

Homeowners in Virginia (and anywhere in the country) can claim federal housing credit for 26% of their total solar installation costs. This could significantly offset the initial investment cost, but keep in mind that this credit could be lost by 2023 if Congress does not act quickly to renew it.

Virginia Solar Laws

There are a few laws in Virginia that deal with solar adoption. Some popular examples include:

  • Solar Rights Act protects homeowners ‘right to install solar panels without interruption by their homeowners’ association or other community association. However, HIAs have some freedom to adjust the beauty of solar energy.
  • Virginia Zero Carbon Bill By 2030, it will create more than 30,000 solar jobs.
  • Virginia’s clean economy law is designed to create a number of new incentives for homeowners to walk in the sun. It also creates strong clean energy standards for utility companies and fines that do not meet these requirements.

Final Ideas: The highest cities in the sun in Virginia

Solar power provides homeowners with a great opportunity to reduce electricity bills, reduce their impact on the environment, and avoid relying on traditional utilities. However, some cities in Virginia are more solar-forward than others. If you do not see your city on this list (and even you), there are many ways for individuals to push for more solar energy in their area. Here are some ideas to get you started

  • Install solar panels in your home
  • Educate your neighbors for the benefits of solar energy
  • Reach out to your elected officials and encourage them to set strict renewable energy goals

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