The 2010 Virginia Energy Plan affirms the state's support for the development of renewable energy. The Plan assesses the state’s energy picture through an examination of the state’s primary energy sources: electricity, coal, nuclear, natural gas, renewables, and petroleum. The plan recommends actions to meet three goals: (1) Make Virginia the energy capital of the East Coast; (2) Grow both traditional and alternative energy production, jobs and investment; (3) Increase the use of conservation and efficiency; (4) Expand public education about Virginia’s energy production and consumption, its effect on Virginia's economy, and how Virginians can use energy more efficiently; and (5) Maximize the investment in clean energy research and development through the work of the Universities Clean Energy Development and Economic Stimulus Foundation.
The Plan also sets rules for local governments to follow in the development of local ordinances addressing the siting of renewable energy facilities that generate electricity from wind or solar resources. In addition to being consistent with the state energy plan, such ordinances must: (1) Provide reasonable criteria to be addressed in the siting of any renewable energy facility that generates electricity from wind and solar resources. The criteria shall provide for the protection of the locality in a manner consistent with the goals of the Commonwealth to promote the generation of energy from wind and solar resources; and (2) Include provisions establishing reasonable requirements upon the siting of any such renewable energy facility, including provisions limiting noise, requiring buffer areas and setbacks, and addressing generation facility decommissioning.