Slow but steady on Moody Creek
Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2019
It is a safe bet that the Moody Creek Solar Project has been the main topic of more than a few dinner conversations in Charlotte County by now. There is nothing wrong with that either. In fact, it is a good thing.
Any project, like the Moody Creek Solar project, which developers say will have an initial capital investment estimated at $200 million is worth talking about.
It is worth talking about a lot.
When the 150MW Moody Creek Solar facility does finally go online, it will be more than 10 times larger than the Twitty’s Creek Solar facility that is in operation now. It will create enough electricity to power 25,000 homes, according to the developer’s projections.
Chances are the project will make quite a statement about Charlotte County’s attitudes on issues such as the potential of alternative energies as an avenue toward economic expansion. Moody Creek could also speak to our willingness to welcome out-of-town businesses. It may speak well of Charlotte County’s ability to do good business, on the whole. Other counties and municipalities will refer to the project as an example of how to do business, how to embrace change, expand economically with a mind for sustainability; and on and on.
That is, if everything is done right.
Making sure everything is right is the exact reason that the members of the different departments of the county government are adhering to each step of the Moody Creek Solar project permitting process with painstaking deliberateness. There is too much at stake to overlook anything.
The amount of preliminary work that goes into the approval process for a project the size of Moody Creek Solar project is mindboggling. That goes for both sides of the table, too. There are feasibility studies, environmental and economic impact studies and longevity projections as well.
The process allows for the county resident’s input during any of the public hearings that are held related to the project and numerous more chances to speak when an aspect of the project is just an item on the agenda.
The companies that want to successfully develop in the county are just as, if not more, responsible for “dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s” as the county itself is. Do-overs are not pretty. They are time consuming and cost prohibitive.
The Commonwealth of Virginia understands the risks associated with overlooking something when planning for large projects. The intensive 2232 review of the Comprehensive Plan that the Planning Commission just completed is a state requirement. The review is intended to uncover any potential conflict with the county’s residents, resources, immediate goals and vision for the future.
Nobody wants to do it twice. Not even a part of it. The county administration is taking steps it has never taken because the entire county is about to take a giant step in a new direction. It is good to see the steps are being thought out in advance. The work going on now will insure that Charlotte County’s future steps will fall on solid ground.
Noel Oliver is a staff writer for The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Noel.Oliver@ TheCharlotteGazette. com.