Dominion looks to bring solar to county

Published 8:15 am Thursday, March 31, 2022

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Dominion Energy is hoping to begin construction on a new solar facility in Luneburg in early 2024.

The newest solar project for the county is only in the beginning stages; however, Dominion Energy Associate Communications Specialist Lucy Rhodes said completion could be as soon as 2025.

“Our proposed Laurel Branch Solar facility will generate up to 80 megawatts of clean electricity, enough to power up to 20,000 homes at peak output,” Rhodes said.

According to project documents, the facility is proposed to be located southwest of the Town of Kenbridge, positioned between Plank Road and Sneads Store Road.

“The application is currently being reviewed by our third-party consulting firm, The Berkley Group,” said Lunenburg County Director of Planning and Economic Development Taylor Newton.

Newton said the project is proposed to be located on 19 parcels which comprise approximately 1,969 acres in total, of which around 720 acres will be disturbed and approximately 270 acres will be used for solar panels.

As part of the developer’s application process, a community meeting was held on March 17 for citizens to learn more about the project.

During that same week, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) approved a significant expansion of new solar and energy storage projects for Dominion Energy Virginia.

According to Rhodes, once in operation, the 15 projects will provide nearly 1,000 megawatts of carbon-free electricity, enough to power about 250,000 Virginia homes at peak output.

“This is another significant milestone in Virginia’s transition to energy independence,” said Ed Baine, president of Dominion Energy Virginia. “These projects will support thousands of good jobs and hundreds of millions in economic activity in communities across Virginia. This is a positive step forward for our customers, the environment and Virginia’s economy.”

Construction of the 15 Dominion Energy Virginia projects is expected to generate more than $880 million in economic benefits across Virginia and Dominion said it will support nearly 4,200 jobs.

The projects are expected to be completed in 2022 and 2023 and will add approximately $1.13 to the typical residential customers’ monthly bill.