skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Expanding solar in VA can provide numerous benefits

play audio
Play

Thursday, April 4, 2024   

Virginia energy experts feel a recent push for solar energy legislation could have benefited the state.

Senate Bill 697 would have removed a ban on solar energy installations, compounded by county-level moratoriums. Instead, localities could not ban solar projects until they hit 4% of their landmass. It would have allowed landowners to bring projects forward for a vote.

The bill passed the Senate with bipartisan support, but failed in the House.

Skyler Zunk, co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit Energy Right, said misinformation has hampered solar development.

"We hear, very frequently, that folks think panels contain toxic materials and leach out chemicals into the ground. It's absolutely not true," Zunk pointed out. "You hear a lot of folks with concerns over lowered property values nearby projects."

An Energy Right poll shows most residents support landowners' right to build a solar project on their land. Had the bill passed, numerous counties would have had to revise statutes to allow landowners to bring the projects forward.

The Virginia Association of Counties came out against the bill, arguing it reallocated local control. Zunk countered most of the organization's reasons are not factual.

Virginia has a high demand for clean energy, although it consumes three times more electricity than it generates, getting additional power from two regional grids. Zunk believes it is not a sustainable way forward but said it will have to wait until the General Assembly reconvenes in 2025.

"It remains to be seen if this bill will come back next year," Zunk noted. "If it might undergo a couple more changes, if counties want to be constructive and talk about ways that they could address some of their concerns while also understanding the need for development of new energy in Virginia."

Beyond benefiting residents, solar energy benefits localities, too, generating millions in tax revenue. Through 2031, Halifax County will generate almost $11 million from solar projects, with another nine projects under construction, which can be used to fund schools and local infrastructure projects.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Estela Pineda is an undocumented immigrant with disabilities from Madera who is cared for by her daughter Mayde, through benefits from the California In-Home Support Services program. (Mayde Pineda)

Social Issues

play sound

Health care advocates are speaking out against proposed cuts to a California program that provides in-home care aides to low-income seniors and people…


Health and Wellness

play sound

Children's advocates are pressing California lawmakers to pass a bill that would increase oversight on health plans when they deny mental health servi…

Environment

play sound

A new World Wildlife Fund study shows since 1970, more than 80% of the global populations of freshwater migratory fish have declined significantly…


The 2024 hurricane season spans from June 1 to Nov. 30. Experts anticipate it will be among the most active seasons ever recorded. (Davivd/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The nonprofit Save the Children is working with child care centers along the Mississippi coast, with plans and tools to help them reopen or resume …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Four years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are still studying its effects on society. A new report focusing on domestic …

By 2060, nearly half the days in the year are projected to be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Arizona is already warming up, and a new report sheds light on how climate change is intensifying that heat. Last year, just under 650 heat-…

Social Issues

play sound

Residents of north Texas continue to clean up after the latest in a string of deadly tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service, an EF-2 …

Social Issues

play sound

Experts in the fight against the sexual exploitation of minors said there is a gap in highlighting how young men are targeted and new research said ma…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021