Commission approves Victoria solar project

Published 4:34 pm Thursday, May 27, 2021

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A second solar utility facility has been given the green light by the Lunenburg County Planning Commission.

During the commission’s Tuesday, May 18, meeting, members voted that the 6th Street Solar 1 project to be located at 2188 Poorhouse Road in Victoria was in substantial accord with the county’s comprehensive plan.

The project will now move to the conditional use permit (CUP) process with the county. The project also must receive its land use permit and all necessary building and electrical permits.

On Wednesday, May 12, the Victoria Planning Commission recommended that the Victoria Town Council approve the CUP to 6th Street Solar 1.

According to the Victoria Town Council minutes, that recommendation was approved.

The 6th Street Solar 1 project is spearheaded by Borrego Energy, which proposes a three-megawatt solar facility to participate in the Dominion Energy small-scale solar program.

Borrego, a family-run company formed in the 1980s, entered the Virginia solar market even before the passing of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, a state law that gives Dominion Energy authority to acquire and contract with more than 1,100 MWs of small solar (three MWs of less) by 2035.

“Our experience in Virginia has provided us with key insights as to what makes a great small-scale solar project,” Borrego Project Developer Jessie Robinson said. “Our three-megawatt project proposed on Poorhouse Road is one of those great projects for several reasons. This relatively small project is hidden from neighbors, has no wetlands impacts and requires minimal earth disturbance.”

According to Robinson, now that the project has been found in accordance with the county’s comprehensive plan, Borrego will now begin the CUP process with the county.

Robinson said the typical timeline for a project this size is roughly two to three years.

Although Borrego Energy has been fortunate to have its permitting process with the county go smoothly, other solar companies, Apex and Solunesco, have not.

Last month, the Lunenburg Planning Commission found the Red Brick Solar facility, a photovoltaic power plant to be located across 935 acres situated in north-central Lunenburg County, to not be in compliance with the county’s comprehensive plan.

Apex and Solunesco, the joint applicants of the project, have appealed the decision and are currently waiting for the Lunenburg Board of Supervisors to make its final determination before moving forward.

That decision is expected to come next month.