Staunton considers encouraging solar panel use

Published: Feb. 25, 2016 at 10:28 PM EST
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Staunton City Council Member Erik Curren believes solar panels are few and far between In Virginia. He wants to change that. "To make it happen here, we're going to have to take things into our own hands," said Curren.

Curren said Virginia ranks 17 out of 18 East Coast states for solar. On Thursday night, council unanimously voted to consider taking part in a Dept. of Energy initiative called SPARC, which would encourage Staunton to become a "solar city."

Some, like West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito, are reluctant to adopt alternative energy practices."Hundreds of layoffs and warn notices devastate West Virginia's coal fields, West Virginia's families, communities," said Capito.

Curren said it would be his dream to see every house in Staunton with solar panels,"That would mean we are creating a whole lot of local jobs because you need people here to put those panels on roofs, and that would mean we were contributing to fighting climate change and getting America off dirty energy sources."

The SPARC program would make it easier for folks to do so. Jeff Nicholson with Sigora Solar says solar panels can pay for themselves in fewer than 10 years."It's an energy-intensive world and solar is not only one of the cleanest ways to provide it, but it's also becoming one of the most cost-competitive ways," said Nicholson.

The city will consider joining the program in the coming weeks.

One can find out more about SPARC online

[ here ].