The News & Record
South Boston News & Record
and Mecklenburg Sun
Home   •   News   •   Sports   •   Classifieds   •   Community   •   Health   •   Entertainment   •   Obituaries   •   Opinions   •   Weather
Advertising | Contact | Register
Advanced Search
News

Halifax County IDA expands lease with RTP at old Daystrom site

Halifax County trustees revamp policy on paid leave for isolating staff, ink deal for land

South Boston Christmas Parade returns Dec. 4 with superhero theme


Sports

GW ends Comets’ undefeated season

Now 5-1, varsity set to play Patrick after 34-16 loss Saturday

Community


Opinion


A&E

News

Halifax County planners endorse two solar projects

SoVaNow.com / September 23, 2021


The Halifax County Planning Commission voted Tuesday to recommend approval of two small-scale solar projects in the South Boston and Clover areas, sending both requests to the Board of Supervisors for a final vote.

Planners and supervisors met in joint session Tuesday night in Halifax to hear from solar company representatives who explained the plans for the community solar projects. Each will generate up to 5 megawatts of electricity.

No one spoke in opposition to either request for a conditional use permit (CUP). The Clover-area project, to be located on Martin Trail off James D. Hagood Highway (U.S. 360), was previously voted down by the Board of Supervisors, but the developers have revised the original plan to allay the concerns of nearby residents. Planners endorsed the revisions before sending the CUP application to supervisors for a vote.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to take up both projects at the Oct. 4 monthly board meeting.

The first CUP request brought up Tuesday night is for a 5 MW facility at 1037 Knollwood Lane near Old Grubby Road, west of the Town of South Boston. The project will take up some 135 acres of a 140-acre tract owned by Elgie Crews, who has entered into a lease agreement for the land.

The developer is Nexamp Solar LLC, based in New York. Nexamp has accepted a revenue sharing agreement with Halifax County to make payments in lieu of taxes for the duration of the project’s 45-year lifespan. The first payment will be $9,000 with a two percent annual increase in the indexed payments.

County Planner Detrick Easley said the solar field would be built out of sight of the adjoining landowners. “The current site plan has a vegetation buffer of 25 feet that will be increased to a 50 feet property line setback,” said Easley.

The site includes existing natural buffer that will keep the solar installation hidden from view from both Old Grubby Road and Knollwood Lane. Also, Easley shared that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) as approved the site entrance off of Knollwood Lane from Old Grubby Road.

“When was the last time this land was farmed?,” asked Planning Commission member Mattie Cowan.

“The land was used previously to harvest timber, but is not active farmland,” replied Scott Foster, an attorney with the Richmond law firm of Gentry Locke. Foster spoke on behalf of Knollwood Halifax Solar, LLC, a subsidiary of Nexamp.

“This project is well positioned and blessed with existing vegetation and is a good usage for the land,” said Foster.

Foster pointed out that Nexamp Solar LLC has designed this project and will be the sole owner over its lifetime, making them a long-term community partner for Halifax County. The solar array will tie directly into a Dominion distribution line, eliminating the need for a substation.

Planning Commission member John Beard, who represents ED-6 where the project would be located, motioned to approve the CUP request. It passed unanimously.

The second application, for a community-scale solar farm in the Clover area, was rejected by the Board of Supervisors in August, due to the land being actively used for farming. Neighbors also complained the project would be unsightly.

However, Easley said he believes the developer, Apex Clean Energy, has worked with neighbors to address their concerns and has come back with a plan that leaves them satisfied.

“This location has been significantly moved back and included in the site conditions are fencing with green slats coming down James D. Hagood Highway and along a farm road,” said Easley.

With the changes to the layout, the solar farm will now rest more than 340 feet away from all residents. Like Nexamp, the developers of the South Boston project, Apex Clean Energy has opted into a 45-year revenue sharing plan with Halifax County in lieu of paying property taxes.

Will Reese Jr., planning board member for ED-2, motioned for the CUP to be approved with all site conditions included.

While no one spoke in opposition to either project, Christopher Eller, the landowner at Martin Trail project site in Clover, appeared before planners to seek their recommendation.

“I would like to see this project move forward,” said Eller.

The CUP applications now go to the Board of Supervisors, which will convene Monday, Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mary Bethune Complex second floor meeting room. County supervisors joined the planners for the public hearing portion of Tuesday’s meeting before adjourning and leaving the remainder of Tuesday’s meeting to the planning board.

The next meeting of the Halifax Planning Commission will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 19 starting at 7 p.m.



Tell-a-Friend | Submit a Comment

44

Classified Advertising

Buy and sell items in News & Record classifieds.