Another solar facility could be approved

Published 5:56 pm Friday, July 29, 2022

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With the Randolph Solar project now approved, county officials are set to consider approval of yet another solar facility that stands to net the county millions of dollars.

On Tuesday, Aug. 2, the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Tall Pines Solar LLC. beginning at 6 p.m. at the Randolph-Henry High School Auditorium.

Following a public hearing held on April 26, the Planning Commission, at their May 24, approved a motion with a vote of 7-3 recommending approval of the CUP.

Supervisors also are scheduled to discuss and possibly approve the siting agreement to Tall Pines Solar following the public hearing.

The developer of Tall Pines, NOVI Energy, submitted its application last year to the county to develop the 220-megawatt solar project located in the area of Welsch Tract Road and Bethlehem Road near Charlotte Court House.

Based on the developer’s CUP application, the project will be located on just more than 2,000 acres of land owned by four different landowners.

According to county documents, the project infrastructure will consist primarily of about 530,000 solar modules.

The proposal indicates that the project will have eight gated entrances to public roads, with the main entrance being located on Welsh Tract Road.

According to the citing agreement, the county is set to net more than $23 million over the life of the project, with $60,000 coming to the county this year and the most significant payout coming in 2026 with $5.4 million.

In comparison, the Randolph Solar project is set to generate the county more than $300 million over the life of the project.

The first $500,000 payment to the county is expected to come in October.

Before construction begins, the county will receive $1.5 million in voluntary payments, with $5.6 million to be received in both 2025 and 2026 during construction.