Southwest Virginia workgroup seeks bids for residential solar program


Chelsea Barnes, New Economy Program Manager,, (276) 207-9636

Norton, Va. — The Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia issued its Request for Proposals (RFP) for partnership in the Southwest Virginia 2021 Residential Solar Program. The program will provide solar installation services for homeowners in the coalfield region. The workgroup is facilitating this program as part of its mission to utilize the development of solar energy as a means of utility bill reduction and economic catalyst in the coalfield region (Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties, and the City of Norton). The RFP is available at:

“We are excited to make solar more accessible to homeowners in our region through this residential solar program, and to connect them with the local job force that can make it an affordable reality,” says Mark Moormans, Manager of Strategic Projects with People Incorporated and a co-convener of the workgroup. “It’s a win-win — creating more economic opportunity for local businesses while increasing energy independence for their customers.”

With eight Southwest Virginia communities achieving designation under the national SolSmart program, the region has embraced the growth of local solar energy markets. These were the first communities in the Central Appalachian region to apply for and receive the SolSmart designation.

The workgroup is currently seeking proposals for a solar developer to conduct solar assessments and installations in at least two of the seven Southwest Virginia coalfield counties. Currently, the program is managing a list of pre-registered homeowners and plans to continue growing the participant list throughout the year. Homeowners can sign up for the program at

Proposals are due on March 24 at 5 p.m EST. Contact Chelsea Barnes with the Solar Workgroup at or (276) 207-9636. Additional information is available at


Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a healthy environment and just economy in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to a clean energy future.

The Solar Workgroup is comprised of nonprofit and community action agencies, colleges, state agencies, planning district commissions, and other interested citizens and businesses seeking to develop a renewable energy industry cluster in the seven coalfield counties of Southwest Virginia. The Workgroup was co-convened in 2016 by the UVA-Wise Office of Economic Development & Engagement, People Inc., and Appalachian Voices, with facilitation assistance from Dialogue + Design Associates.