Buyer for solar project withdrawals

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, January 18, 2023

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Following the disapproval of the Lunenburg Board of Supervisors (BOS) in December, a seller for a proposed solar facility has withdrawn its intent to purchase the project.

During the Thursday, Jan. 12, BOS meeting, members were told about the withdrawal.

During the December BOS meeting, Matthew Gooch with Apex Clean Energy addressed the board, seeking a vote of the consent of its intent to sell the project to Dimension Renewable Energy.

In August, the Board unanimously approved the issuance of the CUP and approval of the Siting Agreement for the Dogwood Lane Project.

The project is set to be a 4-megawatt medium-scale solar facility located on Dogwood Lane just outside Kenbridge.

It was during the December meeting that Gooch told the board that if the sale was not completed by the end of 2022, then Dimension Renewable Energy may require withdrawal from the sale.

Withdrawal, they did.

The withdrawal comes after the BOS because they were concerned about Dimension Renewable Energy and the fact that they were not informed of the potential sale or buyer in an appropriate time.

According to county documents, the Board’s consent is required for the sale or transfer of the Project or the ownership of the Developer.

According to supervisor Robert Zava, there was not enough information about Dimension Renewable Energy for him to feel justified in voting for the transfer.

During that meeting, the BOS was made aware that Apex and Dimension had been discussing a possible project purchase for several months.

“Why wasn’t the board notified of this,” said Supervisor Alvester Edmunds. “You could have come to us then. We need to know more about Dimension before doing this.”

Supervisor Zava agreed to say he was not in favor of the contest at the time. “I’m sure a brochure about Dimension paints a pretty picture, but we need more information,” Zava said.

Another significant issue was the fact that Senior Project Developer Bo McGee with Dimension Renewable Energy could not produce details about the company’s credit rating and debt ratio when inquired by Supervisor Frank Bacon.

“The information is just not there,” said Supervisor Mike Hankins.

As both Apex and Dimension representatives continued to push for consent approval, Supervisor Wayne Hoover spoke up.

“Honestly, I’m ticked off at this,” Hoover said. “You worked on this for months, from May until December, and you want a decision from us in 10 minutes?” “I support this (solar), but I’m not going to vote for a company when I don’t know anything about them. We are not against this … but we need to be informed.”

With the transfer of the project now stalled, the BOS did not discuss the future of Dogwood Solar during its January meeting.