Last night the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on whether or not to approve the massive Randolph Solar project. Many citizens have been against it in that county, with fears that a solar facility of this size will change the face of the county, drive down land values, making them feel like they have been colonized; while others have been for it, owning land that will be used by the solar company for which they will get payments, and in the knowledge that more tax money will flow to the county government if the project is built.
In April, an article at SOVANOW described the project this way, “The Randolph Solar project footprint is just over 21,000 acres, although only 3,050 will have solar panels installed. According to SolUnesco, the company has entered into 94 purchase option agreements with 148 landowners, encompassing 290 parcels and 21,071 acres of land in the Wylliesburg/Red Oak and Bacon/Saxe districts of Southeast Charlotte County.”
“The project area’s nearly 300 contiguous parcels equate to approximately seven percent of Charlotte County’s total land mass, though the area within the fence line, including the areas under panel, will span just over one percent of the county geography.”
This morning I could find not a single news story about what happened at the meeting and nothing on the Charlotte County government website about what happened. After searching I found a Facebook post by one of the supervisors who said that that it passed by a 4-2 vote.
This post was made by Supervisor Hazel Bowman-Smith and she wrote the following, “Last night, Charlotte County Board of Supervisors approved both the Siting Agreement and Conditional Use Permit for Randolph Solar with a vote of 4 to 2. During the past 2 years, there have been a lot of discussion, a lot of rhetoric, a lot of abusive language and insults. I personally did a lot of research, visited other solar farms, talked to many people, asked SolUnesco and Dominion Energy a lot of questions. After collecting and processing all of the information, my vote reflected my convictions. I believe other Board members did the same.”
“Today Charlotte County must make peace with this decision and move forward. We have a lot of work to do to ensure this project is completed according to conditions added to the CUP. We are Charlotte County strong and can do this. Let’s do it in PEACE.”
She then attached this image with her post.