L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Pitt Appointed to State Solar and Energy Storage Authority

October 31, 2018

By Pamela Stallsmith

Damian Pitt, Ph.D., chair of the Wilder School’s Urban and Regional Studies and Planning program and an expert in alternative energy, has been named to the Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority.

Pitt, an associate professor, was appointed to a four-year term on the 15-member board by Gov. Ralph Northam. The authority was formed in 2015 and its scope expanded two years later. Among its responsibilities, the authority:

  • Facilitates, coordinates and supports the development of the solar energy and energy storage industries and solar energy and energy storage projects by developing programs that increase the availability of financing;
  • Facilitates the increase of solar energy generation systems and energy storage projects on public and private sector facilities in the state;
  • Promotes the growth of the Virginia solar and energy storage industries;
  • Provides a hub for collaboration between entities, both public and private, to partner on solar energy projects and energy storage projects; and
  • Positions Virginia as a leader in research, development, commercialization, manufacturing and deployment of energy storage technology.

Among Pitt’s areas of expertise are solar energy policy and climate action planning. He recently released two reports that address policy issues around smaller scale, distributed photovoltaic (PV) energy systems, such as those found on rooftops.

Pitt is also a Translational Research Fellow through the Wilder School’s Office of Public Policy Outreach in the Center for Public Policy, which connects faculty members from across VCU with state lawmakers to explain their research and its public policy implications.

“I’m very honored by this appointment, and to be recognized for my work on solar energy. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on the authority to identify opportunities for expanding solar energy use and energy storage in the commonwealth,” Pitt said. “I’m particularly interested in bringing a focus on small-scale, distributed solar energy, which is a tremendous opportunity area for Virginia if we can get the right policy mechanisms in place.”