By The Randolph Solar Development Team
We’ve heard concerns from people about contamination during construction of Randolph Solar and the safety of solar panels for soils, streams, and wells.
Recent advances in technology allow for solar panels to be installed on up to a 15-degree slope which eliminates the need to flatten existing topography. This minimizes land disturbances during construction. Additionally, the developers of Randolph Solar will follow permitting requirements from Southside Soil and Water Conservation District and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality that will mitigate any potential water management issues during both construction and operations.
State and regional agencies regulate water flow and runoff both during construction and operation. Prior to construction, Southside Soil and Water Conservation District and the Virginia Department of Environmental Equality will review and approve permits for Randolph Solar’s stormwater management plan. These permits will have conditions that mitigate any potential water management issues during both construction and operations.
No water is required for solar facility operation. Occasionally, minimal water use may be necessary to control dust during construction or for panel washing 1-2 times per year. A study by Harvard Kennedy School finds that solar facilities are one of the least water-intensive methods of electricity generation.
Once construction is complete, the solar facility does not emit any emissions, pollutants, or dust into the air during operations. Ground cover will be planted that will mitigate dust during windy conditions.
As such, solar facilities do not pose any negative impacts to neighbors and to the environment during operations.