JMU Takes Lead In Forming State Energy Alliance

From: Public Affairs

July 16, 2009

JMU is taking the lead in a statewide effort to produce 25 percent of Virginia's energy from renewable resources by 2025.

While a number of individuals, organizations and businesses across the state have been involved for many years in trying to boost the state's use of renewable energy from agriculture, solar and wind, there has not been a coordinated effort.

With the recent creation of the Virginia 25x'25 State Alliance, headquartered at JMU, a coalition now exists that can shape the state's energy policy and demonstrate renewable energy strategies for other states as well.

The Virginia 25x'25 State Alliance, modeled after a national organization with similar goals, will develop a new energy vision for the commonwealth and will promote that vision to decision makers, opinion leaders and other stakeholders.

To further exemplify the commitment of Virginia stakeholders to meet the goals of 25x'25, JMU is coordinating the 25x'25 Shenandoah Valley Demonstration Project. The project will use a mix of local resources to increase local renewable energy production while emphasizing efficiency to reduce overall energy consumption. Because of its proximity to Washington D.C. and the eastern seaboard, the Shenandoah Valley presents an excellent opportunity to demonstrate to a wide audience how America can achieve the national goal of getting 25 percent energy from clean, renewable sources. The 25x'25 Shenandoah Valley Demonstration Project will be a model for other regions of the state and nation in implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.

"It's an exciting time in our country for renewable energy and Virginia's 25x'25 Alliance is dedicated to make our state a front runner in this industry," said Kenneth F. Newbold, Jr., director of research development at JMU and a member of the Virginia 25x'25 State Alliance. "Our vast agriculture and forestry resources will play a key part in Virginia's energy future."

Other members of the alliance include the Virginia Department of Agriculture, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Hampton Roads Clean Fuels Coalition and Osage Bioenergy.