Community solar in Virginia

What is community solar?

Community solar makes it possible for everyone to go solar.

With community solar, you can purchase or lease a “share” in a community solar project or start a project with your neighbors. Every month, you receive a credit on your electricity bill for the energy produced by your share.

Learn the basics

Community solar in Virginia

Unfortunately, most Virginians cannot yet participate in community solar. The exceptions are Virginians who receive their electricity from an electric cooperative that offers a community solar option. As of the fall of 2017, BARC is the only Virginia electric cooperative to offer community solar. Electric cooperative members should urge their board of directors to look into community solar as an option. Ideally, as lawmakers see how viable community solar is, they will change Virginia’s laws so that we can all benefit from community solar.

Take action

With enough momentum and political power, we can change Virginia’s policies. Solar United Neighbors helps you fight for your solar rights. Join thousands of solar activists in your state who share your vision.

Join the movement

Solar United Neighbors helps you fight for your solar rights. Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about how you can get involved. And, consider becoming a member.

Learn what other states are doing to fight for community solar

A number of states across the country have already passed legislation to allow community solar. And others are fighting for the ability to develop their own community solar projects.

Virginia resources

History of community solar in Virginia

In 2017 the BARC Electric Cooperative completed a 550 kW community solar project on behalf of its members.

August 2016: BARC Electric cooperative inaugurates Virginia’s first community solar project.

March 2017: Virginia legislature passes SB 1393. This bill enables investor-owned utilities to develop solar projects by allowing Virginians to participate in a voluntary subscription program. While this could allow more solar to be built in Virginia, it falls short of real community solar.

June 2017: More than 60 solar advocates attend a stakeholder discussion aimed at developing rules for energy production and consumption in Virginia.

June 2017: Members of the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative push for expanded solar rights, including community solar, at annual member-owner meeting.