For almost 20 years, the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC) has provided planning and technical assistance related to improving energy efficiency and conservation, and assisting with the development of regulatory guidelines and local ordinances related to renewable energy generation facilities.
During the 2000’s the CSPDC was on the forefront of wind energy topics in the region. Staff at the CSPDC hosted informational workshops, such as the Wind Ordinance Writing (WOW) Workshop in 2009, to allow local staff to discuss various topics with their colleagues and wind-energy professionals. Staff also assisted localities in the region develop local ordinances for wind energy generation facilities, and assisted the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) develop regulatory guidelines and model ordinances as resources for local governments. The CSPDC is committed to helping the localities in the region meet State and Federal renewable energy goals.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation
This energy efficiency and conservation portion of the CSPDC’s Energy Program was ignited in 2009 with the award of an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG). The CSPDC prepared a regional proposal in 2009 and was awarded $643,150 of EECBG funding. During the first phase of the project, approximately 20% of this funding was used to perform energy audits on 50 public buildings in the region, and prepare an Energy Conservation Study for each. During the second phase of the project, grant and local funds were invested into many of these public buildings to make improvements that would increase energy efficiency and energy conservation. While the grant-funded portion of this program was complete in August 2012, the Energy Conservation Studies remain an asset to our local governments as a documented, strategic plan for additional improvements to public buildings to further increase energy efficiency and energy conservation.
Services We Provide
Project Development & Grant Assistance. The CSPDC monitors a variety of State and Federal programs aimed at addressing energy-related topics. Identifying and prioritizing projects, and aligning them with these financial resources, may allow projects to begin or be completed on-time or under budget constraints. These services may include grant writing, grant administration, project management, or other roles which serves the best interest of the locality.
Planning and Technical Assistance. The CSPDC also coordinates with State and Federal agencies on energy policy, regulations, and programs. Staff is available to facilitate these discussions to determine what, if any, impact there may be on the region or the individual local governments.
Shenandoah Valley Regional Energy Efficiency Strategy. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program was designed to help local governments implement strategies to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. The program emphasizes a community-based approach to help meet energy and climate-protection goals. $9.7 million in grant funding was available in the Commonwealth through the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, & Energy (DMME). This project provided each locality with a foundation for a local energy plan and to jump-start the implementation of energy projects throughout the region. The education and training element of the grant allows the exchange of information between our localities so that the toolbox of energy efficiency strategies may continually be expanded. Combining local energy efforts through this project creates a healthier region for all of our localities as it relates to the environment, economic competitiveness, fiscal budgets, and regional cooperation and partnerships. The benefits of this project will be both immediate and sustainable.
Click HERE to learn about the successes of this project.
Renewable Energy Projects in Virginia. DEQ’s Director appointed a number of knowledgeable individuals/entities to an informal stakeholder group in February 2011. Members were drawn from local government, industry, environmental advocacy groups, academia, and state government. This informal group became known as the Local Government Outreach Stakeholder Group (LOG). Mr. Robert Huff of the CSPDC was appointed to this group and is available to assist localities in the Central Shenandoah Region with the development of local ordinances to regulate renewable energy generation facilities. Click HERE to find out more information about the work of this group and the model ordinances available to local governments.
- Elizabeth McCarty
Renewable Energy in Virginia. In 2009, the Virginia General Assembly enacted legislation directing DEQ to develop regulations for the construction and operation of renewable energy projects of 100 megawatts and less. Click HERE to learn more about the Commonwealth’s renewable energy regulations and goals.
EPA’s Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series. This series is designed for policy makers and program implementers interested in cost-effective climate and energy strategies, such as mayors, city or town council members, energy managers, city planners, metropolitan and regional planning organizations, and their private and nonprofit partners.
This program provides technical assistance, analytical tools, and outreach support to state, local, and tribal governments. This series provides an overview of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies that local governments can use to achieve economic, environmental, social, and human health benefits. The strategies covered in this series includes energy efficiency, transportation, community planning and design, solid waste and materials management, and renewable energy.
2014 Energy Plan. The 2014 Virginia Energy Plan is intended to provide a strategic vision for energy policy in the Commonwealth. This plan has been developed in accordance with Chapter 2 of Title 67 of the Code of Virginia. Per the statute, the Division of Energy of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is the agency tasked with releasing the Virginia Energy Plan. The Plan has been constructed to provide a comprehensive view of where Virginia has been and currently is in terms of its energy assets, and it charts a path forward for energy policy in the Commonwealth. Click HERE for more information.