LEXINGTON, Va. – U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm kicked off her two-day visit to Virginia alongside Senator Tim Kaine to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act.
The trip started in Lexington at the top of the Washington & Lee University Parking Deck. On top sits 540 solar panels, which was the largest solar energy system in the Commonwealth when it was made in 2011.
Senator Kaine said that since the construction, the state as a whole has grown tremendously in the solar energy field.
“Virginia has in the solar space gone from one of the worst in the country to now top 10 in the amount of solar,” Kaine said.
The Inflation Reduction Act was signed by President Joe Biden last week. The bill aims to cut costs of climate change by up to $1.9 trillion by 2050, and part of it is proving a 30% tax incentive to manufacturers in the renewable energy sector.
“Climate change for us is not a tomorrow issue, it’s a today issue,” Kaine said. “That’s why it’s so exciting that Virginia which was one of the worst states in the country in terms of policy on clean energy … now with both solar and offshore wind which will also be dramatically accelerated by the Inflation Reduction Act.”
Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy, said there is also a big push for manufacturing to be done in the United States rather than in other countries.
“We’re going to bring back manufacturing. This energy sector is going to be worth $23 Trillion by 2030. So we’re not going to allow all these other countries to take it. We’re going to give opportunity to our businesses,” Granholm said.
The second stop on Wednesday afternoon was at a Virginia Transformer manufacturing plant in Troutville. The plant held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the start of manufacturing transformers that will power electric vehicle charging stations.
Eventually, the country will have charging stations every 50 miles along traveling corridors for electric vehicles.
Following a deeper look inside one of the transformers, Granholm and Kaine sat down with local leaders to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act.
The Biden Administration has continued to push for clean and reliable energy and has taken a step toward battling the climate change crisis.
Granholm mentioned the extreme weather situations some parts of the country have seen over the past couple of years.
“How do we stop it? We stop it by producing clean energy. And the way we want to see that happen is build out all that clean energy in the United States to get 100% clean electricity by 2035,” Granholm said.
Granholm will finish her Virginia visit with a stop in Charlottesville to visit a laboratory focused on advancing clean hydrogen as a clean energy source. She will then announce the Department’s efforts to bolster domestic clean energy manufacturing.