(WFXR) — Appalachian Power is harnessing the power of the sun to help expand its energy supply across Virginia.

The power company has not only expanded its renewable energy by adding 20 megawatts (MW) of solar power, but there are plans to add more solar energy later this year. According to Appalachian Power, Leatherwood Solar — a solar generation facility in Henry County — is supplying 20 MW of solar energy through a power purchase agreement (PPA).

“Solar is a big part of our overall clean energy strategy,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and chief operating officer. “Our signed agreements demonstrate our commitment to providing affordable clean energy for our customers and meeting the targets established by the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA).”

Leatherwood Solar facility is capable of powering 3,600 homes and has been supplying Appalachian Power with carbon-free energy since August.

The company plans to add an extra 35 MW of solar power to its supply over the next several months. This energy will come from the Depot Solar Center in Campbell County and Energix Renewables in Wythe County when these two facilities go online.

“We are excited to cooperate with AEP to deliver clean energy and applaud them for their commitment to meet their clean energy goals,” said Asa (Asi) Levinger, Energix Renewable Energies Ltd. chief executive officer. “We look forward to deepening our cooperation with AEP and to bringing more power to the grid.”

The Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) was passed in 2020 by the Virginia General Assembly. This act is looking to end carbon dioxide emissions from the utility industry.

Appalachian Power — which supplies energy to a million customers throughout Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee — states that through investments in solar, wind, energy storage, and energy efficiency measures, it plans to meet its VCEA targets.

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