Solar

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, during this year’s legislative session, we asked you what energy and environment issues were on your mind. We got some great responses. But many questions were about West Virginia's renewable energy policies.

A bill that would create a utility solar energy program in West Virginia is one step closer to becoming law.

On Thursday, despite vocal opposition from some coalfield lawmakers, the House of Delegates passed an amended version of S.B. 583, 75 to 23 with two members not voting. The bill now heads back to the Senate to address two House amendments.

We have updates on gun legislation, a renewable energy bill, and we bring you the latest on the Senate’s version of the budget bill.

We bring you updates on the energy and environment legislation we've been following, and we also meet some students who visited the Capitol to participate in the page program for their local lawmakers.

We’ve passed the deadline for bills to be introduced in the House of Delegates this session. On Monday, that same cut-off will be in the Senate. Host Suzanne Higgins sits down with statehouse reporters Ryan Quinn of The Charleston Gazette-Mail, Taylor Stuck of the Huntington Herald-Dispatch, and Brad McElhinny of WV MetroNews for this week’s roundtable.

solar panels atop the garage attached to the First State Capitol Building
Glynis Board / WVPB

Lawmakers in the West Virginia Senate have passed a bill that would markedly increase solar generation in the coal-heavy Mountain State. 

We discuss West Virginia’s children in crisis with members of a newly formed Public Health caucus. Also, West Virginia’s veterans were honored at the Capitol, and we bring you the latest in legislative action.

Solar panels arriving in Fayette County.
Colleen Laffey

A legislative proposal that would allow limited solar development by West Virginia’s two electric utilities has ignited intense debate in the energy committees of both the lower and upper houses of the state Legislature.

It was E-Day at the West Virginia Legislature – a focus on the environment when advocates gather to lobby on behalf of environmental policy. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with a lawmaker who is also an environmental scientist, to review several environmental related bills.

Proponents of increasing renewable energy generation in the Mountain State are once again urging West Virginia lawmakers to legalize a common financing method — power purchase agreements, or PPAs. 

The Scarborough Library on Shepherd University’s campus is home to the largest solar panel installation on a nonprofit in West Virginia. This photo shows half of its 189 panels.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


More than 180 solar panels are now on the roof of Shepherd University’s Scarborough Library. It’s one of the largest solar panel installations in West Virginia.

Toyota Driving Demand For Solar Power In Ohio Valley

Mar 18, 2019
Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

Automaker Toyota is planning to announce a major investment in solar and other renewable energy in Appalachia and the Southeastern U.S. The plan includes a massive new solar facility on an old surface coal mine property in Kentucky.

Sources close to the deal tell the Ohio Valley Resource that the Kentucky site is part of a much larger plan. Toyota plans to purchase as much as 800,000 megawatt hours per year, or roughly 365 megawatts, of renewable energy, primarily from developers in Appalachia and the South.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, states in the Ohio Valley are cultivating economic benefits by embracing clean energy, and we remember the Farmington Mine Disaster that occurred 50 years ago this week.

Rebecca Kiger

Far from the ocean and Puerto Rico’s famous beaches, narrow roads wind into mountains not unlike the country roads of our home, West Virginia. After hours of driving we reach a rural community in the island’s center called Tetuan Tres. Like so many places in rural Appalachia, you don’t come here accidentally.

solar panels atop the garage attached to the First State Capitol Building
Glynis Board / WVPB

A Catholic Charities social services building serving residents of West Virginia and Ohio is installing solar panels in response to Pope Francis' call for caring for the environment.

Last month the Coalfield Development Corporation and Solar Holler announced they would expand an already existing partnership to help transition miners from coal jobs into a new industry. The announcement meant a new training facility at West Edge in the Westmoreland neighborhood of Huntington, but will work with laid off miners throughout the state’s southern coalfields.

Solar panels arriving in Fayette County.
Colleen Laffey

A group of Ben Franklin Career Center students has been assembling solar panel kits that will bring electricity to Navajo homes.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the six students spoke at a presentation Thursday at Ben Franklin about the kits.

Solar panels arriving in Fayette County.
Colleen Laffey

An outdoor adventure company is opening what state officials say is the first solar-powered hotel in West Virginia.

A ribbon cutting is planned Wednesday at the renovated Quality Inn in Harpers Ferry. The event is open to the public.

Solar panels arriving in Fayette County.
Colleen Laffey

Appalachian Power is looking to diversify its energy profile by moving toward a greater reliance on solar and wind energy.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the company will continue to rely on coal-fired power plants to supply most of the energy for its West Virginia customers. But the Appalachian Power said in documents recently filed with the state's Public Service Commission that it also plans to increase its renewable energy capacity by more than 9 percent by 2025.

Glynis Board / WVPB

Standing in downtown Wheeling, “the original gate to the West” (as Wheelonians sometimes call it), it’s hard to throw a stone without hitting something historically significant. That is especially true at 1413 Eoff Street, the First State Capitol Building (constructed in 1858). The state’s first capitol building is being restored to its 20th century glory, and also being brought into the 21st century.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

When you think of something being solar powered, what do you picture? Solar panels on roofs, bridges, in fields, maybe you think of solar cars. But what about a solar musician?

Richwood, W.Va.
Create W.Va.

An old lot in Richwood may soon become a park featuring trellises with solar panels.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, as a part of our occasional series "Effective from Passage,"reaction from the Eastern Panhandle about a new bill that may affect net metering standards in West Virginia. Those standards dictate how solar producers, including homeowners with solar panels, receive credit for the energy they produce.

Professor Michael McCawley of West Virginia University discusses his recent research about the health dangers of dust exposure for West Virginians that live near mountaintop removal or surface mine sites.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In the first days of the 2015 Legislative session, energy was the focus of legislators’ attention. A bill that first began as a total repeal of the alternative and renewable energy portfolio act soon became only a partial repeal as lawmakers’ attempted to leave in place current net metering standards.

West Virginia and Regional History Collection, West Virginia University Libraries

Earlier this month in West Virginia, a CSX train derailed, causing giant fireballs to stretch hundreds of feet into the air and one home to be destroyed. Investigators are trying to figure out what happened to cause this derailment. February also marks the anniversary of other industrial accidents. On this episode, we'll hear from folks who have survived them, and hear why many people are concerned that more of these accidents could happen in the future.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of both the House and Senate Energy Committees took up a bill Thursday repealing a law that’s commonly been referred to as West Virginia’s cap and trade law.

The Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act of 2009 requires electric utilities in the state to produce 25 percent of their electricity with alternative and renewable energy sources by 2025, meeting benchmarks of ten percent in 2015 and 15 percent in 2020.

As electricity rates continue to climb, some communities are coming together to try to offset their bills by harnessing the power of the sun. It’s still a pretty novel idea in West Virginia but communities in Fayette and Monroe Counties are forming solar co-ops to help make it happen.


Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Shepherdstown Presbyterians meet in a circa-1836 brick building that sits just across the street from the town’s post office- about two blocks from the main street.

A few years ago the growing congregation put on an addition that houses modern meeting and gathering rooms. Soon, the roof of this addition will be topped with solar panels thanks to the newly formed nonprofit organization Solar Holler. 

West Virginia Needs More Solar Jobs, Report Says

Jan 31, 2014
West Virginia University

A new report by two independent organizations says West Virginia is lagging behind in bolstering solar energy programs and providing solar energy jobs.

The report points out surrounding states are benefiting from past investments into this renewable energy technology.

Two groups that support sustainable economic development, Downstream Strategies and The Mountain Institute, teamed up to compare West Virginia’s solar energy job growth to surrounding states.

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