Letter – Solar development will brings lots of benefits

Published 3:09 pm Tuesday, June 29, 2021

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To the Editor:

On behalf of SolUnesco, the developer of the Randolph Solar project, I wanted to acknowledge the great job Crystal Vandegrift did in summarizing our project’s application and associated community benefits.

SolUnesco could not be more excited about continuing our relationship with Charlotte County for years to come. The jobs and income created by Randolph Solar, for workers and more than 150 landowners, will have long-term benefits for the community well after construction on the project is complete.

Randolph Solar will create more than 1,000 jobs during construction, which benefits other local businesses that provide supplies, equipment repairs, food, and other products and services. This multiplier effect has been seen recently in other southside communities and was a lifeline for many local businesses that struggled to survive pandemic restrictions.

During the next 50 years, Randolph Solar will pay more than $113 million in local taxes to Charlotte County, becoming one of its largest taxpayers.

I also wanted to take a moment to clarify the project’s footprint. In our application, our conservative site due diligence and engineering projects 5,800 acres in the fence line. We know that we will be significantly less than this number once we have completed land surveys and due diligence for the state and federal permits. However, even at 5,800 acres, we account for less than 2% of Charlotte County’s land.

Further, using the density within a five-mile radius, 90% of the land will be outside the Randolph Solar fenceline. Gaining site control over a larger portion of land provides the flexibility to deploy solar panels to minimally impact county residents.

Randolph Solar will benefit all of Charlotte County and will be designed to address our neighbors’ interests. SolUnesco looks forward to working with the community and local officials in the months to come.

Francis Hodsoll