The future of solar

Published 9:59 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018

At an October meeting of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors, the Supervisors voted to approve the proposed solar amendments regarding solar use in the county.

We applaud the county for taking the time and effort to provide information to the public through the extensive research project relating to the solar business.

Although the county is new to the solar industry, much time was taken to ensure solar use in the county will be a positive choice for the citizens and surrounding communities.

During a Oct. 4 public hearing regarding the proposed amendments, Carolina Solar Energy Representative Christopher Jones said his company is looking in to the county for the development of a large scale solar project.

He said the company has worked closely with Mecklenburg and Halifax counties in the past.

Jones said the company was looking at Charlotte County’s ordinance and said “we do think that you have landed in a very good spot that perfectly aligns with most of the other counties … my team and I looked through this and we can tell that you … have really taken some time to look in to this …”

He said the current draft protects the County and the company, while not being restrictive.

Additionally, SolUnesco CEO Francis Hodsoll said he also thought the County had landed in a good place with the ordinance draft.

He said there are many projects in the que currently competing for contracts with companies buying energy.

“There’s a very strong demand,” said Hodsoll.

He said it’s good to move the projects forward at this time in the market so they can be competitive.

“We look forward to being a good neighbor here …” said Hodsoll.

According to a spring 2018 memorandum from the Virginia Solar Workforce Development Initiative, a public-private partnership between solar energy companies, small businesses and higher education institutions has come together in order to ensure Virginians have the skill set to be competitive for solar energy jobs across the Commonwealth.

A pilot program at Southside Virginia Community College launched in September, according to the memorandum.

The program will train workers to enter the solar installation field.

As a new industry to the county, and the state as a whole, we are excited to see where the future of solar is headed.

We hope the solar industry will provide the county with a positive boost for many years to come.