Letter to the Editor — Solar policy should be in place before request is considered

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, July 7, 2022

To the Editor:

Planning commissions (PC) in other Virginia counties are denying utility scale solar facilities such as Dominion’s proposed Pineside Solar. Denials are by counties that had previously approved them. They are saying “no.” There must be something they have learned.

The PC of Mecklenberg County and the PC of Page County recently denied requests for projects. Among the reasons given was to not concentrate solar facilities in one location and on one community. They protected citizens from having additional industrial use being forced upon them and all the harms and risks that go along with it.

Pineside Solar would concentrate a large volume of industry in one place and is not compatible with the desired characteristics set forth in the Buckingham County Comprehensive Plan. It should be rejected on this fact alone.

In addition, there are numerous zoning issues, land use issues, property value losses, safety concerns, etc… that have not been addressed or thoroughly thought out or investigated. This affects the way adjacent landowners use and enjoy their land. I believe public safety is at risk. The land use and character of this region would change for generations.

Also, in Buckingham County there is no solar policy or solar ordinance. Best practices would be to table all utility scale solar until there is a policy or ordinance.

Dominion’s request for a joint public hearing limits access to the process, restricts citizen input and is poor practice. Changing thousands of acres from agricultural to industrial should not be taken lightly and should not happen without all opportunity to voice concerns.

Thank you Supervisor Allen, Supervisor Chambers, Supervisor Davis, Commissioner Dorrier and Commissioner Taylor for voting no to the other industrial solar earlier this year. I sincerely hope the entire board and commission will deny Dominion’s request.

Sincerely,

Scott Flood

Buckingham