Hundreds discuss future, competitiveness of Va. energy at annual chamber conference

Capitol Connection

Hundreds of people came together in downtown Richmond Wednesday to talk about the future of energy in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce held its eighth annual Virginia Energy Conference at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The theme was “Energy’s Role in a Competitive Commonwealth.” 

Chamber President and CEO Barry DuVal said consumers, large manufacturers, producers and policy makers were all present.

He said it’s an important time for the industry. 

The conference kicked off with a panel discussion about energy policy in Virginia. 

“There’s a new governor that’s taken over the Commonwealth. That governor has a responsibility of putting forth an energy plan. We have members of the General Assembly that just passed an important piece of legislation this year for energy in the Commonwealth. The governor signed that bill to put it into practice,” said DuVal. 

DuVal said the legislation will lower rates, diversify energy production and move Virginia toward more renewable energies. 

Garrett Bean, Vice President of Development at sPower, gave the morning keynote address. sPower recently partnered with Microsoft in Virginia on the country’s largest corporate solar agreement. 

Topics covered at the conference included sustainable infrastructure in corporate strategy, diverse energy production for economic development and jobs and cyber security and the energy grid. 

“We compete with other states for business. More and more companies are looking to have renewable energy as part of their energy source,” said DuVal. “So today’s conference brings together all those stakeholders to help ensure Virginia’s competitiveness in the energy industry.” 

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