RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Energy Department is providing funding for two Virginia-based projects aimed at boosting the deployment of solar power. Officials say the state projects are two of 15 across the country sharing more than $14 million to help communities develop plans to install solar electricity in homes, businesses, and communities. The funding allows businesses to develop solutions for overcoming technical, regulatory and financial challenges. The Council of Independent Colleges in Bedford is using more than $807,000 in funding to partner with 15 of its member colleges and their hometown communities to prepare for and buy solar power projects. Dominion Virginia Power is getting $2.4 million in funding to lead a team including representatives from state government, research institutions, environmental organizations, local communities, and solar businesses to develop models for solar deployment.