Richmond, Virginia (CNN) A new Rental Properties division of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has leased a new office building in the heart of the city to the Virginia Electric Cooperative, which has partnered with the city and local electric cooperatives to make solar power available for use at power plants in Richmond.
The project is the first of its kind in the state.
The utility is working with the cooperative to help it install solar panels on power plants at the site.
The cooperative also is working to secure the building’s future as a rental property.
“The goal of the collaboration was to build a new solar and energy efficiency facility that can help provide clean energy for Richmond’s communities,” said VCE spokesperson Erin MacDorman.
“We are proud to support this project by leasing the Virginia Center for Sustainable Energy and the Rental Projects division of Virginia Power and Light, which is part of the VCE.”
VCE will use the solar facility to install and install solar-powered lights at power plant sites throughout Richmond.
The office building is currently leased by the Virginia Cooperative for $2,500 per month.
The group said it plans to use the building to help the cooperative obtain financing for solar energy projects in the area.
The office building has been vacant for more than a decade and was originally built in 1989.
“This building will be an invaluable asset to us in the long-term,” said RTC co-founder and CEO David Ochsner.
“With this lease we will be able to leverage the valuable assets of the RTC, and will also be able contribute to our mission to make Virginia more sustainable by partnering with local businesses and organizations.”
Ochstner said the cooperative is also hoping to have solar panels installed at other Virginia Power properties.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to build our business and our business partners,” he said.
The office space is in the space leased by VCE by the VECO Corporation.
VECo owns and operates several buildings in the city.
It has leased the Virginia Power Building for over a decade.
“Our commitment is to ensure that our properties in the region will have the opportunity to make the most of the renewable energy resources available in the Virginia region,” said Jim Johnson, senior vice president for marketing and communications for VEC