Case against Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors dismissed

Published 8:00 am Friday, May 5, 2023

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A lawsuit filed by the Friends of the Meherrin River against the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors has been dismissed.

The case centers around the Board’s June 2022 approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and Siting Agreement for Red Brick Solar.

According to case documents, the judge dismissed the case on grounds of the Friends of the Meherrin River’s failure to satisfy standing requirements.

In addition to the Board of Supervisors, the board of zoning appeals, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia State Water Control Board and the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources were also named as defendants.

County officials have been seeking a motion to dismiss since August of last year.

As far back as 2020, John Janson, attorney representing the Friends of the Meherrin River, approached the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors to share his organization’s opposition of new industrial scale solar farms proposed for Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Brunswick and other local counties with watersheds.

Despite the legal battle, the County and Red Brick Solar have moved forward with plans to construct the 130-megawatt solar facility with construction to begin as soon as June.

Last month, Apex Clean Energy on of the developers of Red Brick delivered the second substantial $583,334 payment to the county.

This payment comes within 30 days after the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s final approval of the permit-by-rule application.

Red Brick’s first payment to the county was $500,000 and came within 60 days after it approved the CUP last year.

According to the siting agreement, another payment of $1,083,333 will be dispersed immediately after the county approves the final building permit. Additionally, the developer will pay the county $1,083,333 immediately after the commercial operation begins.