US utility Dominion Energy this week issued a request for proposals (RFP) for community solar projects.

The utility in the state of Virginia is seeking proposals for solar projects up to 2 MW, or up to 2 MW carve-outs from larger projects, that will be sited within its distribution network.

The RFP represents Dominion Energy’s first step toward creating a 10 MW community solar pilot scheme after a state law passed in May required it and another utility, Appalachia Power, to do so.

According to Dominion Energy, customer interest in local solar power generation as well as the state’s aim to build out its solar infrastructure led to the scheme.  

The utility said the next phase of the programme will involve filing an application with the Virginia State Corporation Commission later this year or early next year. Once the scheme is approved, Dominion said it will provide further details and begin enrolling customers.

In addition to the community solar requirement, Virginia supports decentralized solar power through a law which exempts the owners of rooftop installations from certain permitting requirements. The state has also created a pilot power purchase agreement (PPA) programme aimed at encouraging universities to install on-site solar systems.