County postpones solar farm hearing

Published 11:29 am Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A public hearing regarding a required conditional use permit for Holocene Clean Energy’s construction of a proposed solar farm was recently postponed, according to the Charlotte County Administrator’s Office.

The hearing was originally set for Monday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. as a joint public hearing with the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors and the planning commission.

“At this time, the public hearing has not been rescheduled,” said Charlotte County Purchasing Agent and Planner Monica Elder. “Once a new date is set the hearing will be re-advertised.”

During the previously planned meeting, planners were set to hear public comments and any concerns related to the proposed facility. Additionally, the special-called meeting would have included the commission’s consideration of the permit.

“This is Charlotte County’s first application for a utility-scale solar facility,” Elder said. “There are several issues related to the proposed project that the county would like to research further before moving forward with the public hearing. We are currently working with our attorney to address these issues.”

The 15 megawatt Solar Farm, Twitty Creek Solar LLC, has a proposed location of 1975 Highway Fifty-Nine in the Drakes Branch area.

During supervisors’ January meeting, Red House/Cullen Supervisor Dr. Nancy Carwile said when a conditional use is set, it will apply to any future solar farms as well, based on the planning commission’s ruling.

“The proposed project would (occupy) approximately 70.9 acres that would be leased from property owners C.E. and Bonnie Hall, Donald A. and Margaret W. Barnum and William J. Hall,” Elder said in an earlier interview.

Carwile said in January the proposed location of the solar farm would allow it to be in close proximity to the transmission station.

“At this time, I am unable to provide any additional details,” Elder said of the hearing’s postponement.