• LaBella Associates

Virginia Introduces a Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund and Program

Updated: Apr 22, 2021

More renewable energy initiatives are underway in Virginia. In January, Assemblyman Terry Kilgore introduced Virginia House Bill 1925 in an effort to establish a grant fund for Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy development. If passed, the proposed legislation would allow for grants to be awarded on a basis of $500 per kilowatt of nameplate capacity from renewable energy sources that are located on previously coal mined lands, and $100 per kilowatt of nameplate capacity from renewable energy sources that are located on a brownfield.

Just a year ago, lawmakers passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA). This legislation implemented further incentives for renewable energy development by establishing renewable portfolio and energy efficiency standards, as well as advancing offshore wind, and solar and distributed generation practices. More information here.

The VCEA has proved to be a catalyst in advancing Virginia’s role in the renewable energy arena. Virginia House Bill 1925 is in furtherance of the transition to clean energy and is set to go into effect immediately, if legislatively approved, and then signed by the Governor. LaBella’s Renewable Energy Team has experience in navigating rapid changes within the renewable energy industry. We place a priority on gaining understandings of legislation and regulations relating to these dynamic projects, and sharing this information with our clients.

Our team took a close look at this proposed legislation and identified four key takeaways:

No allocation of funds will be made to the fund or program unless federal funds are available to cover the cost of such allocation.

Funding for the program is dependent on the availability of federal funds; thus, it appears that the program is entirely dependent on sources of federal funding.

The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy will administer the grants.

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is responsible for awarding renewable energy projects that are located on brownfields or previously coal mined lands.

Allocation of Funds

No more than $10 million will be awarded to any previously coal mined lands project and no more than $5 million to any single brownfield project. No more than $35 million shall be allocated per year by the grant program, provided, again, that federal funds are available. Of the $35 million, $20 million shall be reserved for previously coal mined lands projects.

Consultation with Industry Experts

The Bill also provides that the Department should, in consultation with stakeholders, develop a handbook for renewable energy and energy storage development on brownfields and previously coal mined lands.

LaBella is no stranger to renewable energy on underutilized sites. Our team has experience in planning, siting, engineering, and installing renewable energy projects on brownfields, greenfields and landfills. With a staff of over 20 professionals in Richmond, Virginia, the LaBella team is well prepared to tackle these new renewable energy incentives in the Mid-Atlantic region.

We remain committed to providing our clients with the information they need to be successful in their renewable energy endeavors. Stay tuned as we continue to track the status of this proposed legislation in Virginia. More information on this legislation is available here.

If you have questions about how this could change your renewable energy portfolio, please contact LaBella’s Renewable Energy Team.