Letter to the Editor — Oppose Pineside Solar, as another is too much for Buckingham

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, July 20, 2022

To the Editor:

The Pineside Solar SUP 313 is another major problem that Buckingham does not need. Riverstone Solar was approved at a 4-3 vote. I’m sure some who voted for it now have second thoughts. One of the big problems is that Riverstone will encounter troubles, along with shut-downs and violations. Why would Buckingham want to have another industrial solar power plant running at the same time knowing that unforeseen complications still lie ahead with the Riverstone project?

Construction (dozing, grading, digging of trenches, burning of debris and other clearing jobs) will be sunrise to sunset Monday through Sunday. Ninety-nine properties adjoin this project and the impact on their land and quality of life wasn’t talked about, or the 179,296 solar panels and 27 inverters. Traffic is predicted to be 27 trucks per day for four months, 15 per day for six months, 11 per day for two months. I find these numbers to be a very low estimate. What about the 170 (almost entirely out of the area) employees everyday? On the same road and intersections with Riverstone Solar going on. During the peak installation, it’s 300 employees. Are they going to drop them out of a plane?

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We will have two major industrial solar power plants under construction next to each other, operating at the same time. The rep may say they will not, but how can he truly say that? They are trying to get this passed as quickly as possible. Remember Riverstone was passed just four months ago. These reps are sales people and say what sounds good, but don’t tell the whole story. I believe Bridgeport Road will be an accident waiting to happen. Remember, there are school buses on that road. Intersections of routes 20 and 15 will be very dangerous.

The 6.6 square miles of solar facilities in northern Buckingham will be less than a 1/4 mile apart. What are we thinking as to the beauty of the county and the locals in the area? Do we just say they don’t matter? Remember also the 74.9 megawatt (MW) request puts them just below the 75 MW threshold of additional scrutiny and filings with North American Electric Reliability Corporation. That alone should raise a red flag.

We need to deny this request and need a solar ordinance. Pineside along with Riverstone will not benefit Buckingham with even one volt of electricity. All the power will be sent out of the county. But, we the residents, will have to contend with erosion, noise, air pollution and accidents (hopefully no deaths) for corporate gains. We have a beautiful and quiet county, why destroy it?

I want to thank those who voted against Riverstone and pray that they and the others listen to the residents of Buckingham and deny Dominion’s request.

Donnie Dorrier