top of page

New Years’ Resolutions and 2023 - a contribution by Colin M. Kelly PE, EOVCL member

New Years’ resolutions, we all make them, and we all forget about them within a few months. To change that trend, why not consider joining the Norfolk Environmental Committee (NEC) in 2023? It an easy resolution to keep since it only requires a few hours per month to attend a meeting or two. Plus, joining the NEC will get you more involved with the community, you’ll make new friends, and it will make you feel better about yourself. Which probably were resolutions that were already on your list.

The NEC acts as an advisory group to the city for matters pertaining to the environment. In a typical meeting we will cover a wide swath of subjects including: stormwater drainage, flood abatement, wetlands, recycling, legislation in Richmond, educational programs, haz waste collection, bike paths, plastic bags, solar & wind programs, tree canopy and littering.

To dive a little deeper into just two of the programs lets first look at the Green Reader Program: led by board member Rooney Rosmer the NEC spearheads a program where volunteers go out to the elementary schools to read a book on environmental stewardship to kindergarten and 3rd graders. Secondly let’s look at the Keep Norfolk Beautiful effort: the NEC works with Ms. Sarah Sterzing, Director of Keep Norfolk Beautiful, who coordinates over 300 litter cleanups per year. Ms. Sterzing’s team also facilitates community cleanups and water-based cleanups, (including launches from East Ocean View Recreation Center), the bi-annual Household HazMat collections, the Green Bucket Brigade for organizations and businesses, and Bag the Beach/ Bag the Parks Ambassador program during tourist season. Sarah is a very busy person, and of course, she is always looking for volunteers. For more details visit,

As with any volunteer program, the more you put into it the more you will get out of it. If any of the above items are of interest you, please reach out to me at (I am a NEC Board Member) or Cynthia Shurling, the NEC Board Chairperson, at

So now that I have you thinking about the environment, let’s talk about Solar Panels, not as a New Years’ Resolution, but as something new for 2023.

After more than a year of working its way through the VA State Corporation Commission a compromise has been finalized between Dominion Energy and several Consumer/Industry groups regarding the Share Solar Program. The Shared Solar Program, sometimes called Community Solar Farms, will become available to Dominion’s customers on July 1, 2023. Shared Solar Programs have become a hit in other states where it has been implemented, and there’s no reason to doubt it won’t be a success in Virginia.

The Shared Solar Program will allow Dominion customers to “buy a slice” of a large solar farm located in Dominion’s service area.

The key advantage to residents are: avoiding neighbor/HOA approvals, no city permits, avoiding contractors working on your roof, and concerns over short and long term maintenance. Residents will be able to buy a slice of larger solar farm equivalent to what could be put on your roof and a credit for the energy created at the solar farm will be provided on your electric bill. Essentially this would be a paper transaction, but frankly we all know its’ never quite that simple.

In general, the construction and the operating cost of a large solar farm should be substantially less than the cost to install an equivalent sized area on your roof top. Also, it is likely that the solar farm will be much more efficient, by eliminating shading from trees or buildings and using advanced technology like; larger panels, Single Axis Tracking or Bi-facial panels. In theory, these savings would be passed back to you.

For those Dominion customers that don’t own their roofs, like renters and small businesses it provides a means for them to participate in solar generation.

Currently the program is in the implementation phase within Dominion, where the billing, execution and other details are being worked out. To-date four companies, that have similar projects in other states, have applied to be a Shared Solar Program provider.

I suspect that sometime this spring we all will be getting emails or flyers from them.

Click on the link below to follow or learn more about this program: Shared Solar Program | Virginia | Dominion Energy

*The preceding article was a contribution by a member of the EOVCL. Interested in becoming a contributor? Email for more information

20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

May EOVCL Members Meeting Minutes

These are the minutes from the May EOVCL Members meeting. Please review and let us know if you have any questions or corrections. If not, the minutes will be officially approved and accepted at the Ju

East OV Beach Renourishment - Cleanup and Sand Sifting

May 15, 2024 Received from the Department of Public Works: East OV Beach Renourishment - Cleanup and Sand Sifting. The contractor has indicated that they are able to get further into the tidal zone si


bottom of page