Permit for solar facility approved

Published 2:42 pm Thursday, January 11, 2018

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At its Tuesday meeting the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a special use permit for TurningPoint Energy to operate a solar electrical general facility, which will be located in Pamplin on Good Hope Road.

Adam Beal, vice president of development for TurningPoint Energy, described at the meeting the system that will be used. 

“We’re proposing a single-access tracker system in which case we would utilize north, south rows of panels, or we call tables,” Beal said.

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He said the tables will track the sun from east to west during the day, so they will face east earlier in the day and west later in the day.

“Solar panels are specifically designed to absorb rays as much as possible,” Beal said in response to a question regarding glare from the panels. “Because of that they have very little glare associated with them because they absorb the sun rather than reject it, if you will, or reflect it.”

He said a good case in point is that the solar facilities are installed everywhere across the U.S. at airports and Air Force bases right at the end of runways “because they don’t have glare.”

Beal said TurningPoint is leasing the land for 20 years and has the right to renew the lease at the end of that time. He said at the end of its use of the land, TurningPoint will restore it to its original state, with the exception of replanting the trees that are currently in the area.

The board stipulated in their approval of the permit that for any road damage that occurs on Good Hope Road due to trucks on the road during construction, the company must arrange for repair of the road with the Virginia Department of Transportation. The board also stipulated that it was a requirement to restore the land to its original state.