Webinar October 26 from 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
“Beyond Solar Ordinances” will help local planning officials stay abreast of best practices for the evolving land use of utility scale solar. Program speakers will cover comprehensive plan and solar policy approaches, host siting agreements, mitigation regulations, and the emerging issues of data centers, battery storage, and transmission infrastructure.
Featuring speakers from The Berkley Group, Eldon James & Associates,
Advantus Strategies, Hefty Wiley & Gore, and regional conservation groups.
Hosted by Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont Environmental Council in partnership with the three Planning District Commissions serving the Northern Piedmont and the Shenandoah Valley (Central Shenandoah PDC, Northern Shenandoah Regional Commission, and the Rappahannock Rapidan Regional Commission).
1.5 AICP planning credits available.
Direct any questions to Kim Woodwell, Program Director at Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley/540.908.3914 or email@example.com
Recent Regional Efforts and Materials
10:45 Policy Ready: Putting the Pieces Together
Panel Discussion and Q&A
11:25 Emerging Topics
Related Infrastructure: Batteries, Data Centers, Transmission
Thanks and follow-up materials
- Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley – Utility-Scale Solar Ordinance Guidelines (Updated July 2023)
- Virginia Conservation Network – 2024 Briefing Book Utility Scale Solar (Published 2023)
- Rappahannock River Basin Commission – Stakeholder Perspectives on Utility-Scale Solar Facility Development and Key Considerations for Decision Makers (June 2023)
- Great Plains Institute – Best Practices: Photovoltaic Stormwater Management Research and Testing (Jan 2023)
- ICMA/APA – Solar@Scale: A Local Government Guidebook for Improving Large-Scale Solar Development Outcomes (Dec 2022)
- UVA Energy Transition Initiative – Decommissioning Utility-Scale Solar Facilities (August 2022)
- Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley – Incorporating Solar into Agricultural Landscapes: Workshop for Farmers (Feb 2022)
- Southern Environmental Law Center – Solar Initiative Solar Policy Brief (March 2017)
- NC Clean Energy Technology Center
- Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) Research on Data Center and Energy Demand
Eldon James, Eldon James & Associates, Inc.
540-907-2008 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Eldon James has spent over 40 years working in and with Virginia state and local governments. Eldon received a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Resource Management and his Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. He spent seventeen years working in state and local government in positions with the Commission of Outdoor Recreation, the Cooperative Extension Service and King George County, the final five years as county administrator.
Eldon left King George County government to open Eldon James & Associates, Inc. in 1994 and has served as the principal of this public policy, planning, project, and program management firm since then. The consulting firm’s current clients include seven Virginia localities, the Rappahannock River Basin Commission, the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association, the Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
Luke Peters, Planner II, The Berkley Group
804.292.8004 / email@example.com
With The Berkley Group’s Community Development team, Luke works on a variety of projects ranging from coastal resilience and hazard mitigation planning to assisting with solar project application reviews and solar ordinance updates. He is experienced in technical analysis, outreach and communication, and environmental program administration, and has worked with several local and regional entities throughout Virginia to assess resilience needs. Luke is particularly interested in the environmental impacts of large-scale development and opportunities to mitigate them through nuanced, locality-dependent policy.
Michael Zehner, Director of Planning & Community Development, The Berkley Group
404-643-7930 / firstname.lastname@example.org
With The Berkley Group, a local government consulting firm based in Virginia, Michael oversees the company’s Planning and Community Development Divisions, responsible for both long-range land use planning services and current development services. The division’s principal services include comprehensive planning, area planning, zoning projects, current development review, planning and community development staffing support, environmental, hazard mitigation, and resilience planning, solar and renewables land use planning, and project review. Michael directly manages The Berkley Group’s projects and engagements related to solar and wind energy generation facilities.
For almost 20 years, Michael has worked as a professional municipal planner, beginning his career with communities in metropolitan Atlanta, and leading planning activities for the City of Lexington, Virginia, the Town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, and, most recently, the Town of Nags Head, North Carolina. Certifications include AICP, ENV, SP, CFM.
Jeff Gore, Managing Director, Hefty Wiley & Gore, P.C.
804.780.3143 / Jeff@heftywiley.com
Jeff is a managing director at Hefty Wiley & Gore, P.C., a law firm based in Richmond focused on local government law, where he has worked for the past 17 years. Jeff’s practice includes advising a wide range of public bodies, including towns, counties, and various regional authorities and commissions. He has experience representing counties on utility-scale solar projects involving host siting agreements. Previously, Jeff served as a staff attorney to the Senate Local Government Committee and the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee in the Virginia General Assembly, and as Director of Governmental Affairs for the Virginia Association of Counties. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a law degree from George Mason University.
Kyle Shreve, Director of Government Relations, Advantus Strategies
804-228-4507 / email@example.com
Kyle Shreve currently serves as Director of Government Relations for Advantus Strategies, a leading government affairs firm in Richmond. Through his 15 years in government affairs, he has built a policy background in environmental, energy, health care and business matters. Prior to joining Advantus, he served as Executive Director for the Virginia Agribusiness Council, where he represented the Council’s diverse membership of businesses in both the agriculture and forestry industries. He holds over a decade of association experience including representing the International Dairy Foods Association, Virginia Retail Merchants Association, and the Virginia Association of Health Plans.
Kyle is originally from Pennsylvania and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Pennsylvania State University. He moved to Northern Virginia in 2008 to begin his six-year tenure at the International Dairy Foods Association, focusing on legislative affairs at the federal level. Soon after receiving his Master of Professional Studies in Political Management from George Washington University, he moved to Richmond to begin his tenure in state and local government affairs.
Julie Bolthouse, AICP, Director of Land Use, Piedmont Environmental Council
571.442.4068 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie has been with the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), a locally-based environmental nonprofit and an accredited land trust based in Virginia’s Piedmont, for thirteen years. As the director of land use, Julie manages local field staff working in PEC’s nine county region that includes Clarke, Loudoun, Rappahannock, Fauquier, Culpeper, Orange, Madison, Greene, and Albemarle counties. She also coordinates PEC’s advocacy on state and local policies to promote smart growth and climate action while conserving and preserving the natural resources, local food system, history, and beauty of the Virginia Piedmont.
A professional advocate for sustainability through thoughtful land use decisions, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries Science with a minor in Watershed Management, a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning, and a second Master’s in Natural Resources all from Virginia Tech. She is a life-long resident of Virginia and grew up in Northern Virginia where she now lives with her family.
This webinar was made possible by funding from the Virginia Environmental Endowment.
Top photo by R. Davis, Fresh Energy.