By the Randolph Solar Development Team

Lisa Wilkinson’s mom is 90 and still working at Economy Grill. Lisa and her family go back at least four generations in Charlotte County. “I’ve lived here all my life,” Lisa explains. “I love how you can walk outside and feel safe, how we are peaceful and far from the city. Everybody knows everybody. But we’ve lost a lot of our young people. They think there’s nothing here for them. Most of us left are near retirement.”  

In the last three years, Lisa has expanded her husband’s auto parts store to now include a small restaurant where many locals gather for meatloaf specials or fried apples. She sees family-owned businesses like hers suffering in her community. “We don’t have a good tax base here. And we pay higher taxes than everyone around us. That hurts businesses.” 

With an eye toward her mom’s financial security and her community’s wellbeing, Lisa is selling 40 acres of land to the Randolph Solar project. Even before the removable solar equipment starts producing energy, construction jobs will come to Charlotte County. “The solar project is going to bring us all more business. People will need to eat and buy gas. They’ll need groceries and coffee and clothes. Personally, I would love to have a reason to hire more people at the grill.” 

Lisa’s mom’s security is shadowed by how much misinformation gets around about solar. “Your land value won’t go down. Nothing toxic is in any of those panels. There’s grass that grows right under them! So much of what you hear just isn’t true. We need to listen to people who are actually involved in the project.”  

Mostly, Lisa’s happy for her mom. “She works every day because she does what she wants,” Lisa laughs. “And now there won’t be any more worries for her.” But one thing that does worry Lisa is how loud some of the misinformation has gotten. “The county can’t let a handful of people take over and control what over a hundred people want to do with their land.” 

Curious about what solar panels on her land would actually look like, Lisa and her husband went to see some. “We rode out on Spanish Grove Road, down around Chase City. You had to know where they are, and stop and look for them. If you didn’t know the panels were there, you wouldn’t have seen them. I don’t think they look that different from fields of tobacco.” 

To learn more about Randolph Solar and the benefits to Charlotte County neighbors like Lisa, Economy Auto, and Economy Grill, visit