A high-profile solar project put forth by the Harrisonburg City Public Schools (HCPS) is one step closer to being finalized after a months-long, three-way dance between the school board, solar developer Secure Futures, and the Harrisonburg Electric Commission (HEC).
With solar energy growing quickly in the city (and soon to take another leap, if the school board has its way), an effort is underway to document and map every installation in the city. The 2019 Harrisonburg Solar Census launched on March 30 and will make the information it gathers accessible to the public.
Short term rentals in Harrisonburg, including Airbnb properties and vacation rentals, will soon be regulated by special use permits – if a new proposed city ordinance passes its second reading at the next city council meeting.
The Harrisonburg City Council once again postponed completing its appointments to the Harrisonburg Electric Commission by filling only one of two spots at Tuesday’s meeting, but it did unanimously approve a one-year pilot program to regulate sharable scooters and bikes. City Attorney Chris Brown presented the one-year “pilot project” for the permitting of Bird and Lime-S electric scooters that have flooded the city since last fall.
As reported last week in The Citizen, HEC says the planned schools project will result in a $225,000 net operating loss to its budget – even though the electricity generated by the schools’ solar panels will reduce the amount of electricity HEC buys from Dominion. That’s because HEC doesn’t sell electricity to the city schools, or any of its customers, at the same price it buys it.