Pine Gate Renewables is pleased to submit these comments for consideration in development of the Virginia Energy Plan.
Founded in 2014, Pine Gate Renewables is a leader in the solar industry and an innovator in the movement for clean energy solutions. Our solar farms generate renewable energy that connects to local utility grids, provides tax dollars to local economies and reduces pollution. We are leading the way in making solar costs competitive by creating commercial solutions that drive growth and capital in the market. Headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, and with offices in Charlotte and Raleigh NC, and Jacksonville Beach FL, Pine Gate develops and finances utility-scale solar farms, creating value throughout the project lifecycle. We work with landowners, investors, corporations and utilities across the country and pride ourselves on being strategic, creative, innovative, trustworthy, problem-solvers and good people to work with.
Pine Gate is honored to be developing eleven projects in the Commonwealth of Virginia in conjunction with a long-standing development partner. Located in six counties (Chesapeake, Fluvanna, Halifax, Louisiana, Suffolk and Surry), these projects once operational will be capable of generating over one gigawatt energy (DC) of renewable, emissions free energy.
We support Governor Youngkin’s vision to develop a data-driven roadmap that considers all energy sources and is transparent on the opportunities and costs each energy source presents. Pine Gate submits that renewable energy projects like the ones we are developing will make Virginia a better place to live and in which to do business, consistent with the administration’s focus on the energy costs, jobs, economic development, and energy diversity.
On cost of living, as other commenters have noted, renewable energy projects such as the photovoltaic plants we are constructing provide cost control and stability for consumers and businesses. Not only is cost of energy produced by our projects competitive, they do not rely on volatile fuel for operations and thus are insulated from price shocks and variation currently being seen by other sources of energy production. In this way, renewable energy fully fits with the administration’s “all of the above” strategy and helps ensure a stable, abundant energy supply going forward for all Virginians.
Renewable projects like ours are also important drivers of job creation. Development, construction and operation of the facilities themselves creates jobs, and those are distributed around the state with the projects themselves. Moreover, the clean energy these facilities produce is vital for recruiting and retaining major job creating industries, and are important for the many companies and institutions in Virginia that have adopted carbon reduction targets.
By facilitating economic growth and development, affordable renewable energy also brings people to Virginia as employees and their families come to the Commonwealth. Moreover, because clean energy avoids a host of environmental impacts such as air pollution, solid waste generation, and water consumption, clean energy helps make Virginia an even better place to live and work.
In sum, clean energy is and should remain a vital component of Virginia’s energy plan. We are proud to invest in Virginia and look forward to working with the administration as it develops a balanced, healthy, and economically strong energy plan going forward.
Very truly yours,
Vice President for Regulatory Affairs
Pine Gate Renewables
130 Roberts St.
Asheville, NC 28801