Climate Action Alliance of the Valley Steering Committee member Sally Newkirk invited Kevin Comer of the Antares Group to our meeting on November 20, 2018, to share about his company’s work on renewable energy projects in Virginia.
Originally from Page County, Kevin is a mechanical engineer working out of Antares’ Harrisonburg office. Started by three guys in 1992, the company has grown to have multiple offices around the country and work on large scale renewable energy projects, especially those involving wind, solar and biomass energy.
Through his work for Antares in Virginia, Kevin has helped develop solar projects for Dominion Energy of up to 150 MWs covering 1200-1500 acres of land. It is likely projects like these will keep coming as Dominion has plans to install a total of 3000 MW of solar between now and 2022. This is the equivalent of three 1 GW nuclear power plants and could power some 750,000 households.
Kevin let us know that this relative boom in solar for Dominion Energy has been largely driven by the likes of Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, the Department of Defense and even the state of Virginia requesting the utility company to provide them with Virginia-generated solar or wind energy.
When the Merck & Co. plant near Elkton started planning a 1.5 MW solar installation in partnership with Dominion a few years ago, Rockingham County developed a large scale wind and solar ordinance to guide this and future projects like it. Kevin was among the planners of these regulations which included representatives from some 25 groups with interests and needed knowledge to create a sound and equitable ordinance.
Kevin also sits on the board of the Virginia Renewable Energy Alliance which supports and promotes renewable energy in the state by creating networking opportunities for all stakeholders, education, research, and policy creation.
Many thanks to Kevin for taking the time from the valuable work he is doing to share his work and wisdom with CAAV members.
– Adrie Voors for the CAAV Coalition-Building Committee, November 2018
Most months, Sept – May, the CAAV Coalition-Building Committee invites a community member or group to present to the CAAV steering committee about projects with which they are involved. We are grateful to be working with so many other groups and individuals passionate about creating a more resilient, healthy and just world.