Solar farm still destined for Randolph

Published 11:05 am Friday, January 22, 2021

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A Reston Virginia solar company still has its eyes on Randolph as a location for one of its solar facilities.

SolUnesco CEO Francis Hodsoll confirmed Monday the company continues to advance Randolph Solar’s development, but said there was no significant update on the project at this time.

County administration officials said plans seem to be in the works as well.

“The county has not yet received an application for the Randolph Solar project,” Assistant County Administrator Monica Elder said. “However, we understand that SolUnesco still plans to submit an application for the project.”

Last summer, the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors (BOS) voted 6 to 1 to approve a zoning amendment change that will allow for more density in the construction of utility-scale solar farms in a five-mile radius.

Before that change, the county’s zoning ordinance limited utility-scale solar density to 3% in any given five-mile radius.

SolUnesco’s expressed interest in constructing a utility-scale solar facility exceeded that previous density in the Randolph area.

With the new zoning change, the BOS may approve a denser area and establish a maximum density permitted for utility-scale solar energy farms. This change does not approve the Randolph area solar farm itself.

SolUnesco must apply for various permits and public hearings before the BOS can vote on the project’s approval.

According to details listed for the Randolph Solar project, there would be 10,763 total acres under site control, with 4,900 acres buildable.

SolUnesco currently has a conditional use permit for the Moody Creek Solar project located in the county.

The Moody Creek Solar project calls for the construction of a 150-megavolt utility-scale solar facility (equivalent to 25,000 homes worth of energy). The proposed site, owned by Devin Logging Company/John A. Devin, Jr. and Armistead Tune Devin, is located on Route 47, Crafton’s Gate Highway, approximately 1.4 miles east of the traffic light at the intersection of Highway 360/15 and Route 47.

The Moody Creek project is set to be constructed on property that is approximately 1,655 acres in size.