Solar facility to sell energy

Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A developer with the proposed Kenbridge Solar facility answered questions related to the project, which is proposed to be situated on 11.5 acres of a larger 196-acre plot of land at 284 Hickory Road.

Adam Ventre, development manager for Hexagon Energy, said in an email interview Jan. 22 that the goal of the facility is to sell the energy generated from the PV panels to Dominion Energy through a purchase agreement.

“If successful, Dominion would offer their customers the ability to subscribe to a portion of the facility for a flat monthly rate,” Ventre said. “The output from the subscribed portion of the facility would then be offset from the customer’s bill. This provides local or regional Dominion customers the opportunity to access clean, locally-generated renewable energy.”

Hexagon Energy is based in Charlottesville. Ventre said the company is developing solar projects in Virginia and elsewhere.

“Most recently, Bay Branch Solar, developed by Hexagon Energy and constructed and owned by Cypress Creek Renewables, reached mechanical completion in North Carolina,” Ventre said. “The project will begin delivering power to Duke Energy in the coming weeks after testing.”

In response to a question about potential risks of the facility, health or safety related, Ventre said there aren’t expected to be anticipated risks.

common materials including glass, polymer, aluminum, copper and silicon semi-conductor material,” Ventre said. “Solar PV panels function as a solid state, inert crystal composed of non-toxic materials and are most similar to a pane of solid glass. The solar panels do not contain chemicals or fluids that can leak.”

More information about the makeup of PV panels and the question of risks will be available in a future Dispatch report.

Ventre said Hexagon Energy entered into a long-term lease with the land owner of the proposed site. The land owner is listed on the project application as Alice Rudd Roby. Her son, Bill, is helping with the proposed project development.

Ventre said the long-term lease is meant to both compensate the landowner for hosting the solar facility and protect the landowner’s rights. Ventre said details associated with the lease agreement are confidential.

Bill said in an interview he became responsible for the farmland after the death of his father, E.S. Roby. He said he looked at ways to make the farmland sustainable, including looking at planting walnut and pecan trees. He said he saw solar facilities as a way to have the farmland be used while also looking at a clean energy option.

Ventre said Kenbridge Solar, LLC, owned by Hexagon Energy, is proposed to be responsible for owning and maintaining the facility. The landscaping maintenance and upkeep work will be contracted.

“We will reach out to local companies to solicit bids for the work as construction nears,” Ventre said.

Once the useful life of the facility is complete, estimated to be in approximately 35 years according to the application, Ventre said Kenbridge Solar, LLC would be responsible for decommissioning, or taking down the facility.

“Deconstruction procedures are designed to ensure public health and safety, environmental protection and compliance with applicable regulations,” Ventre said.

The application cited that construction would be set to begin in March, with the operation of the facility set for May.

Ventre said in the interview that the originally proposed project schedule was delayed due to an engineering study and permitting timelines.

He said construction would not begin until late 2019 at the earliest.