Solar energy supports can

spark interest in region

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The Virginia General Assembly has convened and is considering a wide range of legislation that might affect people in the counties of Southwest Virginia. I want to encourage legislators to pay attention to and vote to support legislation that can have a major impact on individual families and the broader economy of our region. I am talking about legislation to support the development and use of solar energy for our homes and industries.

Right now our area is at a disadvantage in taking part in the growing solar industry and our neighbors are losing out on opportunities to reduce their electric bills. So I urge support for the policies advocated by the Solar Workshop of Southwest Virginia. These include eliminating the cap on net metering that individuals and communities use to “sell” to utilities power produced by their solar panels; allowing the Power Purchase Agreements available in other parts of Virginia to help finance solar development; and promoting the development of solar energy installations on abandoned mined lands.

As more and more industries commit to the use of clean energy, our area needs to produce and provide clean energy to recruit these industries to Southwest Virginia. Without a strong solar energy sector, we will not be as competitive as the rest of the state. And not only will we lose out on those jobs, but there also will be fewer opportunities for people working to install solar panels. It is time to pass legislation to promote solar energy in Southwest Virginia.

Beth Bingman.

Dungannon.

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