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News | 5 min read

GreenTech Incubator Graduates Eastlight Renewable Ventures

August 16, 2011

ASHLAND, Va. – The Dominion Resources GreenTech Incubator (DRGI) has announced the graduation of its first incubator tenant, Eastlight Renewable Ventures.  Eastlight was founded in 2009 and joined the incubator in April 2010.

Eastlight Renewable Ventures develops, finances, owns and operates commercial scale, solar energy projects.  They manage all aspects of the project development process including financing, system design, and installation.  Eastlight works with Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions REITs, municipalities, and sports and entertainment venues.  The company leverages its expertise in the use of tax credits, low interest debt financing, monetization of RECs, as well as traditional equity and debt capital, to deliver electricity cost savings for their customers and attractive project returns for their investors. 

The U.S. solar industry has grown ten-fold since 2005, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, driven by improved technological efficiency and dramatic cost reductions.  With more and more companies, universities, and government agencies pursuing initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint, and investors seeking uncorrelated, stable returns through project-level investing, Eastlight sees a large and growing market for its solar development services.   To date, the company has 4 MW of projects completed or under construction for clients such as Johns Hopkins University, SunTrust Bank, Boeing, and Merck.

Charles Valentine, Partner at Eastlight Renewable Ventures, stated that being a tenant of the Dominion Resources GreenTech Incubator was a vital part of the company’s success thus far.  “What greatly benefited us at the incubator was the mentoring of an advisory board and having an entrepreneur-in-residence to provide assistance.  The energy and utility sector expertise and guidance provided by Dominion Resources, Inc., plus the support and connections that came from being surrounded by other start-ups in the incubator facility were also critical,” said Valentine.

                “We are proud of what Eastlight Renewable Ventures has accomplished during their residency at DRGI and wish them every success moving forward,” said Robert T. Skunda, Chairman of the Dominion Resources GreenTech Incubator and President and CEO of the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park.  “We fully appreciate that companies like Eastlight begin to deal with established corporations and Fortune 100 companies like those that they have secured recent contracts with and they will need to make the transformation from ‘start-up’ to established organization.  Their graduating is a sign of success for the incubator program”, Skunda went on to state.

About DRGI: Modeled after the VBDC’s successful biosciences incubation program, DRGI will provide its member companies an affordable facility on the I-95 corridor, assistance with strategy and business planning, access to expertise within Dominion Resources, expert advice from business advisory boards, access to discounted professional services and introductions to sources of grant and investment capital. As the companies grow, they are expected to move to nearby locations in Hanover County, boosting the local economy.

About Dominion Resources: Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,500 megawatts of generation, 1.1 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved natural gas and oil reserves, 14,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,000 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates the nation’s largest natural gas storage systems with 975 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 12 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company’s Web site at

About Hanover County/Ashland, VA: Hanover County is a dynamic community within the Greater Richmond, VA region located 90 minutes south of the nation’s capital in Washington, DC.  Hanover’s central, mid-Atlantic location offers seasonable climates and one-day access to more than half of the U.S. population base. A business-friendly county with competitive tax rates, Hanover also has a strategic transportation infrastructure that includes I-95 and I-295, and convenient access to I-64.  The Town of Ashland, located in central Hanover County, is a community of seven square miles and 6,000 plus residents that enjoy prosperity fueled by Randolph Macon College, a growing private sector and a strong, regional economy.  Ashland is a town born of the railroad and is proud of its history.  Safe streets, an efficient police department and a diverse array of retail and tourist activities add quality amenities for both the residents and businesses.

About the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park: The Virginia BioTechnology Research Park is currently home to a unique mix of over 60 public and private bioscience companies, research institutes affiliated with the VCU Medical Center, and major state and national medical laboratories. These companies are housed in nine buildings totaling more than 1.1 million square feet of space, representing an employee base that exceeds 2,000. The Park’s nationally recognized biosciences business incubation program, the Virginia Biosciences Development Center (VBDC), has successfully graduated more than 40 client companies, including three publicly traded firms.  VBDC’s client companies and graduates have attracted more than $400 million in equity, grant and strategic capital.  The Park’s Virginia Biosciences Commercialization Center has been created to assist international life sciences companies locating at the Park with commercialization activities through M&A or IPO, giving these Park’s tenants full-scale business assistance as they enter the US market. The Commercialization Center is working with 9 bioscience companies with technologies ranging from medical devices to diagnostics and therapeutics.