RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Eight southwest Virginia communities are being recognized for their work to encourage the growth of solar energy.
The communities earned a spot in SolSmart, a nationwide program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. A ceremony to recognize them was scheduled for Thursday.
A SolSmart designation means a local government has taken steps to reduce red tape that might prevent a solar company from setting up shop.
SolSmart has awarded over 275 designations across the country. But the eight Virginia communities are the first to be recognized in central Appalachia, a region that’s struggling with the decline of coal.
The communities being recognized at a ceremony Thursday are: Wise, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott and Tazewell counties; the city of Norton; and the town of St. Paul.