Supersized Louisa Solar Farm Faces Setback Limitation

Out in Louisa County, where Dominion Power already runs a 250-acre solar farm, a bigger project is in the works — one that would develop up to 1000 acres of land to produce an estimated 80 megawatts of power.

 

Over the last year, the Central Virginian newspaper has been covering some of the developments around this ambitious solar plant to be put on land owned by Boyd Cash LLC and run by Harold Purcell.

 

The site would be in area between Waldrop Church Road and Harris Creek Road, near the Tanyard Golf Club.

 

On March 6 of this year, the Louisa County Board of Supervisors gave conditional approval to the project, after the plan ran through the county Planning Commission in February.

 

However, reporting shows that issues around visibility are creating a fairly costly condition for the developer.

 

Essentially, the board wants a 150-foot buffer of evergreens around the edge of the property, to hide the panels from the view of neighboring property owners. At least one of these property owners spoke in a public hearing on the project to recommend the tree buffer.

 

The new Louisa solar farm idea, which is running its way through the approval process, is just one example of what today’s companies are doing to promote access to renewable energy – but it’s a big one. This project would dwarf most of the others that have been set up on the East Coast, where one or two megawatts is a fairly common size.

 

This big solar farm plan also illustrates some of the issues that can arise in the course of planning a solar installation of any significant size, even one in a relatively rural area. Responsibilities such as setbacks can decrease the return on investment for a project, and limit what planners are able to do. One issue, as mentioned in discussion in Louisa County, is that trees placed in a buffer line can cast shade on some of the panels and diminish their ability to collect an optimal amount of power.

 

Sun Day Solar is happy to help small business leaders and property owners to brainstorm how to work with setbacks and other conditions. We have years of experience in setting up all sorts of solar projects, and a long list of satisfied customers. We can advise on applications for REAP grants and other opportunities to pursue projects in an affordable way. Get good professional backing for your renewable energy projects, to feel confident about moving forward and modernizing your business or property with sustainable energy infrastructure.