Danville's Bright Leaf Brew Fest is slated for next month. Photo courtesy of Amanda Schlichting.

Here’s a roundup of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to news@cardinalnews.org.

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Danville announces craft beer festival

The 16th annual Bright Leaf Brew Fest, which brings together Virginia craft breweries, will be held Nov. 11 at Danville’s Community Market. 

About 50 breweries participate from across the state, resulting in over 100 beers to sample from. There will also be ciders, food vendors and live music, said Amanda Schlichting, committee chair for the event. 

It was started by local craft beer enthusiasts and home brewers. The planning committee is entirely made up of volunteers, who have day jobs but are passionate about brewing, Schlichting said. 

“I’m an architect by day, but I like to brew and have made some of my best friends in Danville through tasting and learning how to make craft beer,” she said. “We love beer and want to show the world what great things are out there, especially with products that we don’t normally see in our grocery stores or in our bars here in town.”

The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Both general admission and VIP tickets are now on sale, and they will be available until they are sold out, Schlichting said. 

VIP tickets include catered food, in addition to the event’s food trucks, plus a private lounge area, additional beer samples, and exclusive VIP beer samples. 

More information about the event and tickets are available on the Brew Fest website.

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New federal program offers tax credits for renewable energy

Applications will open Oct. 19 for a new federal tax credit program that aims to encourage renewable energy adoption in low-income communities.

In addition to an existing 30% federal investment tax credit for solar facilities, applicants now can apply for an additional 10% tax credit for eligible solar or wind facilities in low-income communities or tribal lands, or a 20% tax credit for such facilities that are part of a qualified low-income residential building or a qualified low-income economic benefit project.

The new tax credits from the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, came out of last year’s federal Inflation Reduction Act. 

Projects must generate a maximum output of less than 5 megawatts. Applications submitted within the first 30 days will be treated equally, and the Department of Energy plans to continue accepting applications into early 2024.

Altogether, the program will provide such credits for up to 1.8 gigawatts of renewable energy projects per year across the U.S.

For more information, including frequently asked questions and how to apply, visit the program’s website.

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Bedford hospital gets $4.4 million for new generators

Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital in the town of Bedford will receive $4.38 million in federal funding to replace its indoor 250-kilowatt electricity generator with two 500-kilowatt outdoor diesel-powered generators.

The money, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, was announced this week by U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both D-Virginia, and U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem.

“This new generator system will be able to power all facilities at the site, ensuring that if there is ever a need for back-up electricity, the hospital will be well prepared,” Griffith said in a statement.

In a joint statement, Warner and Kaine said, “We’ve seen how severe weather and natural disasters have hurt communities across Virginia, and protecting our critical infrastructure from these events is essential.”

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Bedford chamber hosts candidate forum

The Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce will host a forum for state and local governmental candidates from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at Liberty Middle School.

The forum is not a debate. Candidates will answer questions from moderator Tim Saunders, the business engagement and outreach coordinator for Virginia Career Works. Residents are encouraged to submit questions at BedfordAreaChamber.com. Questions can also be mailed to the Bedford Chamber office at 305 E. Main St., Bedford VA 24523.

The first half of the session will be dedicated to town council candidates. After a 10-minute intermission at 6:55 p.m., candidates for the board of supervisors, state Senate and House of Delegates will take the stage.

The forum is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be catered by Bridge Street Cafe. The chamber asks that anyone who plans to attend register in advance.