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Solar facility approved

The Buckingham County Board of Supervisors voted 6-1 during its Monday, July 13, meeting to approve a request from Hexagon Energy to construct Black Bear Solar, a small solar facility to be located on the southwestern side of Belle Branch Road on Route 667. The location is approximately nine miles northeast of Dillwyn.

According to Hexagon Energy Director of Development Adam Ventre, all of the clean energy generated by the facility will be delivered to the Dominion power grid.

In June, Ventre said, Black Bear Solar is pursuing a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Dominion Energy to sell the power generated from the facility. If the agreement is successful, this power could be used for a community solar program whereby Dominion customers could subscribe to purchase their power from Black Bear Solar, giving residents access to clean energy.

“We are thrilled to receive permit approval for Black Bear Solar and look forward to working with Buckingham County to bring community solar to the region,” Ventre said Monday, July 20. “Setback over 1,000 feet from roads and screened from neighboring properties, Black Bear Solar will serve as a quiet and safe member of the community while creating new opportunities for residents to access clean, locally generated electricity.”

Ventre encouraged anyone interested in pursuing a career in solar construction to check out the SHINE program sponsored by Hexagon Energy and run through Southside Virginia Community College.

District 4 Supervisor Jordan Miles III was the only board member to vote no to the request. During the meeting, Miles expressed concern regarding new state legislation that allows solar facilities less than 5 MW in size, like Black Bear Solar, to be exempt from local machinery and tools taxes until July of 2030.