The Executive Order 43 includes a short-term target to have at least 3GW of solar and onshore wind under development by 2022
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed an Executive Order to increase energy efficiency and ensure 100% of the US state’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2050.
The move is aimed at reducing the Commonwealth’s impact on climate change, and boost the clean energy economy in Virginia.
Northam added: “We know the importance of a true shift to reliance on renewable energy sources in reducing our carbon footprint, growing our economy, and creating the clean energy jobs of the future.
‘This Executive Order will help ensure that Virginia remains at the forefront of clean energy innovation, meets the urgency of the challenges brought on by climate change, and captures the economic, environmental, and health benefits of this energy growth in an equitable way that benefits all Virginians.”
Virginia aims to produce 30% of total power from renewable sources by 2030
The Executive Order 43 includes a shorter term target to have at least 3GW of solar and onshore wind under development by 2022, and increase the installed offshore wind capacity by up to 2.5GW on an accelerated timeline by 2026.
It also sets a target for the state to produce 30% of its total power from renewable sources by 2030.
Virginia Natural Resources Secretary Matthew Strickler said: “Virginia is already feeling the impacts of global warming in the form of rising sea levels, increased flooding, and more extreme weather events.
“The public health, public safety, and economic consequences of climate change are undeniable, and this Executive Order is a necessary piece of our strategy to reduce carbon pollution and related emissions and improve quality of life for all Virginians.”
The state also aims to develop a plan of action to meet the renewable energy goals and address issues related to energy storage, energy efficiency, equity, and environmental justice.
Virginia Commerce and Trade Secretary Brian Ball said: “These energy goals send a clear signal to renewable energy industries that the Commonwealth is open for business, and that we will be a trailblazer in the development solar and wind energy.”
In July 2019, Ørsted and Eversource placed a conditional order with Siemens Gamesa to supply wind turbines for three offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 1.7GW, after winning the bids in the US states.
The offshore projects include the 880MW Sunrise Wind project, the 704MW Revolution Wind project, and the 130MW South Fork project.