Discussions concerning a request for a solar farm setback variance quickly turned contentious during Washington County’s monthly planning board meeting.
Sunenergy1 CEO Kenny Habul explained that Sunenergy1’s Roper based solar site has had trouble generating enough electricity and that more panels need to be constructed.
To do this, Habul requested a variance to reduce the established 300 feet setback from residential areas down to 100 feet, freeing up the remaining footage to install more panels.
“This system is contracted to sell power to data centers in this area and Virginia, and we have to deliver a certain amount of power. We thought we had enough land, and to be honest with you, we don’t quite have enough, so by allowing us to utilize a little bit more, we can squeeze in the megawatts we need to send the power that we need,” Habul explained.
Project manager Linda Nwadike backed Habul up saying that Sunenergy1 has already sought out most of the landowners in the area to consent to the change.
Under Washington County’s solar ordinances, any changes to setbacks must have a written waiver from property owners and be approved by the board before any changes to the site can be made...
For full story, check out this week’s paper.