BOS to hear solar farm concerns

Published 4:39 pm Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Next month the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors (BOS) will hold a public hearing to hear comments regarding a proposed 167-megawatt solar farm just outside the town of Charlotte Court House.

According to the application summary, NOVI Energy proposes to construct a solar facility known as Courthouse Solar on 1,354 acres from 12 parcels owned by Blue Rock Resources, LLC, Ridgeway Farm LLC, and Robert Locke.

The project is southwest of Charlotte Court House and generally bound to the north by George Washington Highway (Route 40), to the west by Tollhouse Highway (Route 47), to the east by Eureka School Road, and to the south by Ash Camp Creek. The applicant proposes using multiple gated entrances off public roads (Shady Oaks Road, Ingleside Lane, and Eureka School Road).

Shady Oaks Road, labeled to be one of the main construction entrances, was brought into question by Lynn Royster, who cited potential safety traffic issues.

Royster, developer of the Shady Oaks residential area, addressed the Board of Supervisors during its Monday, Nov. 9 meeting, expressing his concerns about safety issues.

Royster had previously addressed the planning commission with his concerns during its September meeting and again during the commission’s Oct. 27 public hearing to no avail.

According to Royster, there are 18 families, most with children who live on Shady Oaks Road.

Children walking to the bus stop and the amount of truck traffic that will be on the road during construction is Royster’s main concern, he told supervisors.

“I am not against solar or solar farms,” Royster said. “But I am against Shady Oaks Road being used as an entrance.”

Royster said he felt that there were other alternatives that NOVI Energy or the planning commission didn’t pursue.

“They chose to send it off to you (BOS),” he said. “So I’m asking y’all to pursue every opportunity that you can before you pass this on to the citizens of the county to have to deal with.”

In October, the Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit (CUP) for the solar project but not before meeting opposition.

The Board of Supervisors public hearing is set for Monday, Dec. 14, at 6:05 p.m.