Renewable Energy Alliance Launches in Charlottesville
Eight Central Virginia renewable energy companies are aligning to form the Charlottesville Renewable Energy Alliance, or CvilleREA. The coalition will launch at the Tom Tom Founders Festival’s “Innovations in Energy: The Future of Renewables” event on Thursday, April 13, and at the “Founders Summit Luncheon: Renewable Energy Alliance” on Friday, April 14.
The CvilleREA members are AltEnergy, Apex Clean Energy, Columbia Power, Coronal Energy, Coulomb, Hexagon Energy, Sigora Solar, and Sun Tribe Solar.
Collectively, these eight companies have been responsible for more than 2,700 megawatts of clean energy generation—enough to power a city 40 times the size of the one they call home, or well over 700,000 American homes. Across their portfolios, the companies have more than $6.54 billion worth of clean energy operating and in development.
“There’s a very entrepreneurial environment in Charlottesville that includes a vibrant cluster of clean energy companies,” says Grey McLean, an environmentalist and the founder of the Adiuvans Foundation, who led the formation. “As a group, these companies have a lot to offer—driving economic development and job creation, offering expertise to local policy makers, and supporting the sustainable ethos of the city.”
The alliance aims to establish Charlottesville as the renewable energy hub of the Southeast, to advocate for the growth of the renewable energy economy, and to support the community’s transition to sustainable energy practices.
"Charlottesville has all of the ingredients to be at the forefront of the renewable energy movement in the Southeast," says Devin Welch, partner at Sun Tribe Solar. "It only made sense for our companies to come together to raise awareness of this potential to the city and its citizens, who may not have realized that this thriving industry exists right in their backyard, and to recruit more clean energy businesses to the area.”
Within Charlottesville, members were already advancing the city’s sustainable mentality at a corporate level. Sun Tribe Solar has programs in place to encourage employees to bike to work and subsidizes solar installations on employees’ homes. Coronal Energy promotes healthy lifestyles, paying for marathons and races when employees wear their company jersey on race day. Apex Clean Energy offers incentives to employees purchasing electric vehicles or powering their home with solar panels, and the company pays a stipend to those who elect to walk, bike, or carpool to work.
“Our next task, beyond encouraging even more Apexers to participate [in these programs], is bringing our city along as well,” says Mark Goodwin, president and CEO of Apex. “Together with this growing sector of clean energy companies based in Charlottesville, we are going to work to encourage other businesses to offer clean energy incentives, expand local accessibility to EV charging stations, scale up rideshare programs, and retool our downtown business district to welcome this movement.”
The Tom Tom Founders Festival’s “Innovations in Energy: The Future of Renewables” event takes place at the Paramount Theater on Thursday, April 13, at 6:00 p.m. The Tom Tom “Founders Summit Luncheon: Renewable Energy Alliance” takes place on Friday, April 14, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. at Zocalo restaurant.
For more information on the Tom Tom Founders Festival events or to purchase tickets, please visit the event websites:
Innovations in Energy: The Future of Renewables
Luncheon: Renewable Energy Alliance
About the Charlottesville Renewable Energy Alliance
The Charlottesville Renewable Energy Alliance was formed in 2017 to promote Charlottesville as the renewable energy hub of the Southeast, to advocate for supportive renewable energy policies, and to encourage the community to embrace sustainable practices. The eight clean energy companies that form the coalition collectively bring to market more than 2,700 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power a city 40 times the size of Charlottesville.
For more information, visit www.cvillerea.org.