DEQ developed the Solar Permit By Rule (PBR) Regulation and the Solar PBR Guidance. Information about the development of the regulations and guidance appears below.
Solar PBR Regulation
In June 2010, DEQ convened the first meeting of the Solar Regulatory Advisory Panel (RAP). The Solar RAP Membership included a broad array of stakeholders from state government, solar energy developers, environmental advocacy groups, academia, and local government. The Solar RAP reached consensus on all recommended provisions for DEQ’s Solar Permit by Rule (PBR). Minutes of the Solar RAP’s meetings and other pertinent documents may be found at the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall [enter Keyword "solar" to access all associated documents].
In December 2010, the DEQ’s Director approved the proposed Solar PBR regulation, which incorporated the Solar RAP’s recommendations. The proposed Solar PBR and Town Hall 02 Agency Background Statement were submitted for Executive Review. Notice of the public comment opportunity and the proposed regulation were published in the Virginia Register on January 30, 2012. The public comment period for this proposed regulation was held from January 30, 2012 to March 30, 2012, and a small number of comments were received. Staff responded to the comments and modified the proposed regulation, as summarized in Town Hall 03.
The final regulations were adopted by the Director and proceeded successfully through final Executive Review. The final Solar PBR Regulation was published in the Virginia Register on June 18, 2012 and became effective on July 18, 2012. The Solar PBR Regulation appears in the Law & Regulations webpage under the Renewable Energy Program.
Solar PBR Guidance
The DEQ Director issued a letter to assist prospective developers who plan to utilize the Solar PBR. DEQ has also developed guidance for the benefit of Solar PBR applicants, members of the public, and agency staff. The Solar PBR Guidance provides DEQ's suggestions as to how the requirements of the Solar PBR Regulation, 9 VAC 15-60, might be met. Like the statute and implementing regulations, the Solar PBR Guidance addresses pre-construction natural resource analyses, mitigation plans, post-construction monitoring, and other PBR requirements and issues. Where appropriate, the Guidance discusses methods of performing the required regulatory tasks. To view all Guidance Documents developed for Small Renewable Energy Projects, including the Solar PBR Guidance, click on the "Guidance Documents" section of this Renewable Energy website.
Please contact Carol Wampler at (804) 698-4579 or Carol.Wampler@deq.virginia.gov with any questions.