Solar Energy Development

Project Background

The Solar Energy Development Project presents the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and a number of other state agencies opportunities to optimize the use of state-owned property, raise additional monies and become more environmentally responsible. Potential land lease collections, electricity savings and/or revenue sharing provisions are possible sources of value that can be captured from the project.

Ultimately, this Candidate P3 project meets public needs and provides public benefits by unlocking additional monies to keep facilities in a state of good repair and furthering Virginia’s current energy initiatives outlined in the Virginia Energy Plan.  This project would also realize public benefits by supporting a renewable energy industry in Virginia, contributing to a cleaner environment and creating economic development opportunities.

VDOT administers a variety of state-owned properties and real estate parcels across Virginia. For example, VDOT administers right-of-way (ROW) properties, including adjacent land to interstates and sound barrier walls, and state-owned properties not considered ROW, including, but not limited to: central headquarters, district offices and facilities, regional offices and facilities, operations and maintenance facilities, and Park and Ride sites.

Solar energy systems can be placed on a variety of sites and thus the technical feasibility is driven in the most part by the characteristics of the site. VDOT sites could include: rooftop solar systems; ground mounted solar systems on vacant land or underutilized space; solar canopies over park and ride lots; solar sound barrier walls; and/or a combination of some or all.


The Detail-Level Screening Report was completed by VAP3 and accepted to move into project development by VDOT on June 1, 2015.

VAP3 completed the following project development activities:

  • Solar Risk Management Meeting 2Site Feasibility Screening: Technical feasibility of potential sites studied and screening criteria established to narrow down a list of the most feasible sites.
  • Business Case and Financial Model: Business models analyzed from a financial and risk perspective to determine which model provides the most value to Virginia and fits into VDOT’s priorities.
  • Policy and Legal Analysis: Policy and legal analysis to assess the legal feasibility of the business models.
  • Procurement Recommendation: Recommend the optimal type of procurement to utilize for the Project and create a procurement roadmap.

In September 2015, the VAP3 held a Risk Workshop for the Project. The workshop included a variety of experienced professionals representing different technical areas, such as right of way and utilities, environmental, financial, and solar energy development. See Risk Report of Risk Workshop #1 under Project Links for more detail.

As of late July 2016, VDOT is not actively pursuing Solar Energy Development; however, we will continue to work with interested parties who may request exploration of other opportunities and locations.

Project Resources

Solar Energy Development High-Level Screening Report

Solar Energy Development Request for Information

Solar Energy Development Detail-Level Screening Report

Risk Workshop 1 Report

Park and Ride Site Location Inventory

Commonwealth State Owned Real Estate Inventory

SB 1099 creation of Virginia Solar Energy Development Authority