Massive solar field proposed in rural area of Louisa County

Solar panels installed by Dominion Virginia Power north of Rt. 22 near the town of Louisa. While Dominion’s solar project covers 250 acres, a developer has proposed a new solar field that would be more than four times larger.

Solar panels installed by Dominion Virginia Power north of Rt. 22 near the town of Louisa. While Dominion’s solar project covers 250 acres, a developer has proposed a new solar field that would be more than four times larger.

A solar project proposed off Waldrop Church Road would be more than four times the size of the one now under construction in the county.

The developer, Belcher Solar LLC, wants to blanket some 1,000 acres of farm and forest land with solar panels, which it claims is enough to provide electricity to 14,000 homes. Producing up to 88 megawatts of power, the solar field could be among the largest on the East Coast.

By comparison, Dominion Virginia Power’s solar installation on 250 acres just east of the town of Louisa off Chalk Level Road will produce 20 megawatts of power when it is completed at the end of December.

The Louisa County Board of Supervisors will have to issue a conditional use permit for the project to proceed, since it would be an industrial use and the land is zoned for agriculture. The developer will have a chance to introduce the concept to neighbors at a meeting on Dec. 14.

The land where the solar panels would be located is owned by the Purcell family. Belcher Solar is an affiliate of Virginia Solar LLC, which is currently involved in building a 17-megawatt project in Powhatan County.

“There’s nothing unique about the site,” Matthew Meares, a partner with Virginia Solar, said. “It’s got a power line and a willing landowner.”

To read the entire story, see the Nov. 3 edition of The Central Virginian.

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