The Commonwealth of Virginia continues to take steps to further policy and legislation with respect to renewable energy. In January, Assemblyman Terry Kilgore introduced House Bill 1925, to establish a fund for brownfield and coal mine renewable energy development. Known as the “Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund.” The Act is now approved and will become effective July 1, 2021.
Following passage of the Act, LaBella has identified the most significant takeaways and what to expect come July 1st. It’s worth noting the following:
- The Act establishes a fund to be used to award grants, on a competitive basis, for renewable energy projects located on brownfields or previously coal mined lands. Renewable energy includes energy derived from sunlight, wind, and geothermal power. Under this law, “Brownfield” and “previously coal mined land” are defined as below:
- “Brownfield” is defined as real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollution, or contaminant.
- “Previously coal mined lands” means lands, associated waters, and surrounding watersheds where coal extraction, beneficiation, or processing has occurred.
- The program is administered by Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The Department is required to establish and publish guidelines and criteria for the grant awards.
- No more than $35 million per year is to be awarded under the program, with $20 million reserved for projects sited on previously coal mined lands.
- Grants are awarded only if federal funds are available to cover the entire program and associated costs.
- Grants are awarded on the basis of $500 per kilowatt with respect to previously coal mined lands, with individual awards not to exceed $10 million, and $100 per kilowatt with respect to brownfield sites, with individual awards not to exceed $5 million.
- Grant recipients must require developers to hire local residents as part of the project.
LaBella will continue to track and share developments under the Act, particularly the Department’s guidelines and criteria.
With staff and office locations throughout the east coast, our team is prepared to take on new renewable energy projects in the Mid-Atlantic region. LaBella also has over 20 years of experience providing a niche specialty of brownfield redevelopment. As always, we are committed to providing our clients with the information they need to be successful in their renewable energy endeavors.
If you have questions about how this could change your renewable energy portfolio, please contact LaBella’s Renewable Energy Team.