Nonetheless no vote on southern IW photo voltaic farm growth – Smithfield Occasions

Nonetheless no vote on southern IW photo voltaic farm growth

Revealed 8:00 pm Thursday, December 22, 2022

Isle of Wight County supervisors have once more postponed voting on a developer’s request so as to add acreage to a deliberate photo voltaic farm.

SolarGen of Virginia LLC, a subsidiary of Colorado-based Aquasan, had obtained the supervisors’ approval in 2019 to construct a 55-megawatt, roughly 300-acre challenge named the Ho-Fel photo voltaic farm on Lees Mill Street close to Worldwide Paper’s Franklin mill. Asheville, North Carolina-based Pine Gate Renewables has since bought the challenge – which has but to interrupt floor – and is proposing to develop the power by 18 acres.

In response to Matt Boerger, Pine Gate’s challenge allowing supervisor, the 2022 proposal requires the photo voltaic panels to be spaced additional aside, which is why the additional acreage is required. The challenge is now estimated to generate 40 megawatts reasonably than 55.

In 2020, Virginia’s Basic Meeting handed laws permitting localities to evaluate a $1,400 per megawatt per yr cost in lieu of conventional equipment and instruments taxes. Pine Gate has supplied such a cost, which is able to escalate by 10% each 5 years for the estimated 40-year lifetime of the challenge.

A proposed siting settlement specifies that Pine Gate pays both the normal M&T price or the $1,400 per megawatt cost, relying on which is greater. For the challenge’s first seven years in operation, the M&T price is projected to be greater, however by yr eight the $1,400 cost will kick in to offset what the county would in any other case lose as a result of panels’ depreciation in worth.

The $1,400 cost is projected to usher in $1.76 million past what the county would obtain if Pine Gate had been to solely pay M&T taxes. Factoring in each the income sharing cost and estimated actual property tax income, the challenge is estimated to usher in a complete of $4.5 million over 40 years – up from the $3.3 million estimated in 2019. Had been the land to stay in its present agricultural use, the county would obtain simply over $207,000 over the identical 40-year interval.

The supervisors had beforehand thought of Pine Gate’s proposal in November. At their December assembly, the supervisors remained skeptical as as to if the county would obtain the complete $4.5 million had been the challenge to be decommissioned earlier than the 40 years had been up.

Supervisor William McCarty instructed Pine Gate officers on Dec. 8 that he needed to see “some type of payout” within the occasion the challenge is decommissioned early.

Supervisor Dick Grice then referred to as for a “set life like expectation” as to the income the county would obtain.

Pine Gate officers contend their lease of the land specifies a time period as much as 40 years, and that they anticipate the challenge to be in service that lengthy, however couldn’t assure what would possibly occur within the a long time to return.

The 2019 Ho-Fel challenge is one in all six photo voltaic farms accredited for Isle of Wight County. Isle of Wight’s solely operational photo voltaic farm, a 20-megawatt, 180-acre Longwood Drive facility often called Woodland, started producing energy in 2017.

The opposite pending initiatives embrace the 20-megawatt, 193-acre Solidago photo voltaic farm close to the Isle of Wight County Courthouse; the 85-megawatt, 730-acre Windsor PV-1 farm close to the city of Windsor; the 240-megawatt, 1,750-acre Cavalier farm that may span the Isle of Wight-Surry county border; and the 2-megawatt, 20-acre Nuby Run farm on Orbit Street. Isle of Wight’s Planning Fee really useful approval in November for a seventh farm often called Carver Photo voltaic, which is proposed to generate 71 megawatts and span 637 acres adjoining to Windsor PV-1, however the Carver challenge has but to be voted on by the supervisors.


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