RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Pulaski County and Williamsburg have become SolSmart certified due to their work to encourage solar energy growth.

SolSmart is a national designation program recognizing communities that make it faster, easier, and more affordable to go solar. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.

“We are proud to contribute to such an important designation for the city of Williamsburg and Pulaski County in their efforts to become leaders in solar energy development,” stated Weldon Cooper Center Director Larry Terry. “The SolSmart program exemplifies our mission at the Weldon Cooper Center to work collaboratively with localities across the state in developing new opportunities for their communities, and we hope that this work is just the beginning of our efforts together.”

Pulaski was awarded a Gold designation and a Special Recognition Award for the plan in place to conduct inspections. A SolSmart Gold designation is a signal that Pulaski is open for “solar business”.

“Localities are beginning to recognize the importance of supporting its citizens’ and the business community’s desires to access and transition to solar, and the SolSmart resources and professional expertise can help a community better achieve their goals and significantly increase their solar readiness. We are confident that our SolSmart Gold designation is going to enhance Pulaski County’s ability to serve our current and future solar demands, and we would encourage other counties and municipalities to consider seeking a SolSmart designation for the value it could bring to their respective community’s solar program.”

Jonathan D. Sweet, Pulaski County Administrator

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) began hosting the SolSmart program in the summer of 2020. Any locality is able to work toward the designation by requesting a consultation on the DMME website. The Virginia Clean Economy Act requires electricity be generated in Virginia using carbon-free sources by 2050, increasing the demand for renewable energy.

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