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Guess Which State is Almost Completely Missing Out on the Solar Power Boom?

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Yes, you guessed it: our state, Virginia, is the one missing out on the national solar power boom that’s well underway (note: click on the map to “embiggen”). For more, check out the Solar Means Business Report, released this morning. Among other things, the report finds that the “average price of a completed commercial [solar] PV project in Q2 2014 has dropped by 14 percent year over year and by more than 45 percent since 2012.” A few more factoids:

*”Since 2010, U.S. businesses have installed solar systems at their facilities more than 32,000 times.”

*”For the second straight year, U.S. businesses, non-profits and government organizations added more than 1,000 MW of new PV solar installations. As of mid-2014, there were 4,531 MW of commercial solar PV installed on 41,803 business, non-profit and government locations throughout the U.S.”

*”American businesses are turning to solar because it’s good for their bottom line. For many companies, electricity costs represent a significant operating expense, and solar provides the means to reduce costs and hedge against electricity price increases.”

*”While retailers have installed the most capacity, auto manufacturers, pharmaceuticals and food servicers, as well as companies in many other industries, have all looked to solar to lower operating costs.”

*”The rest of the U.S. is catching up to the likes of California and New Jersey, the first and second largest state markets for commercial solar. Leaders in those states and others like them have put in place smart, effective policies that have enabled businesses to invest in solar.” (note: thanks in large part to the strongly negative influence of Dominion “Global Warming Starts Here” Power, Virginia has NOT put in place “smart, effective policies that have enabled businesses to invest in solar”)

*”In total, 129 million people in 33 states and Puerto Rico live within 20 miles of at least one of the 1,110 commercial solar installations that were analyzed in this report.” (again, Virginia is missing out)

Oh, and if that’s not enough to make you really angry that Virginia has not seized this opportunity, see an article which just came out a few minutes ago, Georgia Is the Latest State to Procure Dirt-Cheap Solar Power, which reported: “After a second round of bidding from developers seeking to build hundreds of megawatts’ worth of solar plants in the state, Georgia Power reported that the average price of electricity came in at 6.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s 2 cents cheaper than last year’s bids.

How cheap is that? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Average Retail Price of Electricity to Virginia residential users as of July 2014 was 11.98 cents per kilowatt-hour, while the average cost to all Virginia power users was 9.79 cents per kilowatt-hour. Again, the new solar power bidding in Georgia came in at 6.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. Remind me again, why aren’t we going solar big-time in Virginia (not to mention energy efficiency, which is even cheaper than 6.5 cents per kilowatt-hour in most cases)? Oh yeah, our pals at Dominion Power…

  • kindler

    …is how many REPUBLICAN states are ahead of Virginia on solar and wind.  Texas is the leader in wind power.  States like Georgia and Arizona are leaving us far behind on solar.

    One thing we have to realize, and fix, is that many of our Democrats – like Senator and gas station owner Dick Saslaw — are worse that other states’ Republicans when it comes to energy and the environment.

    It’s hard to believe, but the facts bear it out.  And that’ll continue to be the case until we demand that our elected officials act responsibly on the environment or we toss the bums out.  

  • DJRippert

    You’d think that would be enough.