Close this search box.

The Voice of the

Commonwealth's Counties

Capitol Contact ALERT! Oppose SB 697: Mandates Approval of Solar and Battery Storage

Bill to be Heard Thursday, February 8 in Committee – Call Your Senators Now to Oppose

SB 697 (Van Valkenburg) requires localities to permit utility-scale solar and energy storage facilities as a “special exception” per 15.2-2288.8 of Virginia Code and to develop an ordinance that establishes “reasonable criteria and requirements” for the siting of utility-scale solar and battery storage projects. Additionally, the legislation states that such reasonable criteria and requirements “…shall not include limits on the total amount, density, or size of solar and storage facilities that can be developed.”

SB 697 requires counties to permit any application, regardless of the cumulative impact of such facilities.

ACTION REQUIRED – Call members of the Senate Local Government Committee today to oppose SB 697.


  • Utility-scale solar and battery storage are in effect largescale power plants, many of which may have oversized footprints. For example, a solar facility with a generating capacity of 100 MW can occupy 1,000 acres or more of land.
  • The state should not mandate counties to permit these facilities, regardless of the total amount, density, or size of such projects.



VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

Share This
Recent Posts