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Tesla opens new store in Virginia and wins contract to install solar at colleges

Tesla is making strides in Virginia this week. After months of issues with the DMV and the Virginia Auto Dealers’ Association (VADA) over Tesla’s right to sell its cars directly to customers, they have now opened a second store in the state.

At the same time, the company secured a contract with four colleges in the state to install solar arrays.

While Tesla might be having some issue with the government in Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe was at the opening ceremony of the store in Richmond yesterday and he conveyed his support for Tesla’s right to sell its cars directly to consumers.

He said (via Richmond):

“When this first came to me, there was no question that they ought to be able to sell their cars here. This is competition. It’s important for our environment. It reduces the carbon emissions, which is something that we all care about here in Virginia.”

Redditor /u/Donutdonutdonut was present at the event and shared a few pictures of the new facility with us:

But that wasn’t the only good news for the company in Viriginia this week. Tesla’s energy division also won a contract with the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) to bring 1.3 megawatts of solar power to four campuses in the state.

McAuliffe was also present to announce the partnership in Richmond yesterday.

Robert Lambeth, president of CICV, commented:

“Beyond making our facilities more energy efficient, these solar installations also will serve as a ‘living classroom’ for our students pursuing careers in this tremendous growth industry.  Our faculty and students will have access to industry-leading engineering and scientific discoveries that are driving solar technology advancements.  CICV is excited to be able to give our students first-hand access to these innovations, which will provide them with valuable, hands-on experience that will translate to careers in renewable energy.  Renewable energy is an increasingly large piece of our country’s power generation mix.  Through the Sunshot Initiative, CICV’s students will have access to the tools and training to enter this high-growth workforce.”

SolarCity has been most popular at the residential level, but over the past year and since Tesla’s acquisition of the company, they have been growing their commercial installation business and focusing on more profitable projects.

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