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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, May 24, 2024
HomeCommentaryLegislature CornerLegislature Corner: Plaskett Applauds VIEO on Solar for All Grant of $62.6M

Legislature Corner: Plaskett Applauds VIEO on Solar for All Grant of $62.6M

(Photo courtesy Facebook)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced this week that the Virgin Islands Energy Office (VIEO) was selected to receive approximately $62.5 million to develop solar programs — the highest amount available to the territory in this competitive grant program. The grant will enable low-income and disadvantaged households to benefit from solar power.

“I am very pleased that the Virgin Islands Energy Office was selected to receive the Greenhouse Gas Reductions Fund grant. Providing opportunities for energy resilience is paramount to improving the quality of life for our underserved residents and families. They deserve reliable, affordable and clean power,” said Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett.

The funding through the ‘Solar for All’ grant program is part of the historic $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, created under the President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to address energy costs for families, produce quality jobs and advance environmental justice.

“The U.S. Virgin Islands as a whole are a disadvantaged community that has been historically burdened by centralized fossil fuel-based power systems that suffer from high energy costs and low reliability,” said Kyle Fleming, director of the Virgin Islands Energy Office.

“The Virgin Islands Energy Office’s successful selection of its ‘Solar for All’ application has presented a historic opportunity for the territory to fast-track an equitable energy transition that holistically leverages the islands’ most abundant natural resource,” said Fleming.

The Congresswoman offered a letter of support to the VIEO last year upon applying for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds. She highlighted the meaningful benefits of the ‘Solar for All’ program including delivering household savings, increasing access for low-income and disadvantaged households, increasing resiliency by way of creating capacity, facilitating ownership models that support communities build equity projects, and investing in quality jobs and business.

Congresswoman Plaskett said, “My office was happy to support the VIEO in pursuing this competitive grant—not only writing a letter of support but also calling on EPA Administrator Michael Regan and the Biden Administration for support. I would like to congratulate Director Fleming and his team for their great work in securing this grant for our territory. We look forward to continuing to work with the VI Energy Office on this initiative and others in the best interest of all Virgin Islanders.”

Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett

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