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Development of Solar Energy Program in Virginia

DEQ developed a “permit by rule” to facilitate the review of small solar projects in Virginia.


The Small Renewable Energy Projects (Solar) Permit by Rule (PBR) regulation became effective on July 18, 2012. 

The PBR requirements for a complete application to construct and operate are explicitly identified under the regulation rather than being developed on a case-by-case basis and applies to solar energy projects 150 megawatts or less.

Facilities can obtain authorization from DEQ by agreeing to comply with all the construction and operating requirements of the PBR.

The number of projects permitted under the solar program have grown exponentially with one PBR issued in 2015, six in 2016, ten in 2017, and 14 in 2018.

Solar PBR Resources

Topics of interest pertaining to the Solar PBR can be accessed by clicking the hyperlinks below:

What's New

See Town Hall for information on the Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) regarding Amendments to the Solar Permit by Rule.

Laws and Regulations


DEQ has developed guidance for the benefit of Solar PBR applicants, members of the public, and agency staff. The Solar PBR Guidance addresses pre-construction natural resource analyses, mitigation plans, post-construction monitoring, and other PBR requirements and issues. Where appropriate, the Guidance discusses methods of performing the required regulatory tasks. The Guidance information is listed on Town Hall and consists of the following modules:

Additional Guidance Resources

Disclaimer: When using the PBR Guidance documents, please be aware that it is provided as guidance only and, as such, sets forth standard operating procedures for the agency. However, it does not mandate any particular method for complying with the regulations, nor does it prohibit any alternative method. If alternative proposals are made, such proposals will be reviewed and accepted or denied based upon their technical adequacy and compliance with appropriate laws and regulations.



Permit Application Fees for renewable energy projects are listed in 9VAC15-60-110C. The permit application fee should be submitted to DEQ at the following address:

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Receipts Control
P.O. Box 1104
Richmond, VA 23218

Internet Resources

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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