NORFOLK - Solar energy is becoming more and more common in the US, and the same can be said for the City of Norfolk.

A handful of buildings in downtown Norfolk are utilizing solar energy as multiple panels are installed on their roofs. The buildings are owned by Russ Wilcox of Real Estate Solutions, who said the idea came about after he wanted to differentiate those buildings from others in the surrounding area.

"The opportunity to put solar on several of these buildings was presented to us, and we thought it would be a great way to be different," Wilcox said. "We can provide some green energy, produce some power, and maybe make a dollar or two while we're at it."

The style of the buildings also lent themselves to the installation of solar panels, as Wilcox says the flat roofs created the perfect opportunity to create solar energy.

"You need a big, flat, stable, open space that you can place these solar panels on, and all of these flat buildings in downtown Norfolk are perfect for that," Wilcox said.

Wilcox says that solar is a great, clean energy approach which adds value to any building that has panels attached. He also says if the opportunity presented itself in the future to install more solar panels on other buildings in Norfolk, it would be a no-brainer to continue down the path of solar power.

"If the same opportunity presented itself again we would certainly consider it," Wilcox said. "You have to have the right building, it has to be somewhat free and clear of obstacles, but we would certainly look at that and would consider it because it's a very easy way to be part of providing non-fossil fuel generated energy."