Sierra Club statement on 2018 Virginia Energy Plan

sierra club virginiaKate Addleson, director of the Sierra Club Virginia chapter, comments on the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan released today by Gov. Ralph Northam.

“This plan represents the first time in Virginia history a governor has completed a truly forward-thinking outlook for our commonwealth’s energy future. The Energy Plan recognizes that Virginia needs to make significant changes in the way we produce, deliver and consume energy, including transforming our grid into one that can accommodate more renewable energy.

“The recommendations written in this plan make significant progress towards a 100 percent clean renewable energy future for Virginia. We are eager to work with Gov. Northam and his administration to ensure the vision of a more equitable, distributed and clean energy system that will better suit the needs of Virginians is fully and expeditiously realized.

“While the recommendations do not fully represent all of the actions identified in the plan’s contents, this plan will move Virginia in the right direction. We encourage and expect Gov. Northam to strengthen standards to and above the recommendations issued.

“Throughout the public hearing process for this Energy Plan and earlier, Virginians have demanded greater access to clean energy, and this plan shows that their public officials are finally listening. We are heartened to see the plan focus so concretely on renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, electric vehicles and other kinds of clean transportation, which are all the building blocks of a clean energy future.

“Among the strongest sections of the plan is its focus on offshore wind. Offshore wind remains Virginia’s largest untapped renewable energy resource, and we are pleased to see the Governor prioritizing it in future strategic plans for workforce and economic development and committing to develop the full 2,000 megawatts currently leased by 2028.

“This commitment represents an enormous economic opportunity for Hampton Roads and Virginia as a whole, as outlined in the Offshore Wind Vision Report released by BVG Associates, and we encourage the Governor to align all goals on offshore wind by creating a master plan.”

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