Are Solar Projects Safe for the Environment?

By |2021-04-14T13:40:03-04:00April 14th, 2021|Land Use, Virginia Solar|

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

Who Does this Project Benefit?

By |2021-04-07T13:10:44-04:00April 7th, 2021|Land Use, Virginia Solar|

By The Randolph Solar Development Team Yes, Randolph Solar will benefit property owners whose land is being used, but it will also benefit all residents of Charlotte County. Randolph Solar will bring substantial new tax revenue to the county, benefit numerous local businesses, and employ several hundred people during construction (about 1 ½ to 2 years). The construction of Randolph Solar represents an investment of more than $600 million in what is expected to be the largest taxpayer in the

Solar Technology Basics: How to Safely Turn Sunlight into Energy

By |2021-02-18T16:05:17-05:00February 18th, 2021|Land Use, Virginia Solar|

By The Randolph Solar Development Team Solar technology is a proven and safe method to convert free sunlight into electricity for household consumption. The solar panels, mounted on a racking system, turn sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity that is than converted by a DC/AC inverter to alternating current (AC). A transformer increases the voltage for transmission and distribution of the electricity using existing transmission lines for delivery to customers. Solar panels are generally composed of commonly used building materials,

Solar Neighbors: Safe, Quiet, and Low-Impact Renewable Energy

By |2020-12-15T14:41:06-05:00December 15th, 2020|Land Use, Virginia Solar|

By Lea Maamari and Melody S. Gee Melody S. Gee is a business and technical writer in St. Louis, MO. We in the solar industry receive many questions about a solar facility’s components, how Utility-Scale solar will impact the surrounding communities, and what effects solar equipment technology might have on the environment.   Today, we’re bringing you answers from the latest research on solar technology, installation processes, operations, and more. Bottom line, solar is one of the safest, if not the safest, technologies producing electricity and as a land use results in an inconsequential impact.  Solar was first deployed by the

Our State Legislature’s Role in a Clean Energy Future

By |2019-05-29T12:57:32-04:00May 29th, 2019|Company Update, Industry, Land Use, Policy, Virginia Solar|

A Panel Presentation Recap from the 2019 Tom Tom Summit and Festival by Francis Hodsoll and Melody S. Gee Melody S. Gee is a business and technical writer in St. Louis, MO. This April, SolUnesco CEO, Francis Hodsoll, moderated and presented on a panel at the Tom Tom Summit and Festival in Charlottesville. This annual event brings together a diverse group of thought leaders to discuss a revitalized approach to civic life and community, and this year devoted an entire

Best Practices for Utility-Scale Solar Decommissioning in Virginia Pt. 2

By |2019-04-25T11:56:12-04:00April 25th, 2019|Company Update, Industry, Land Use, Policy, Virginia Solar|

by Lea Maamari and Melody S. Gee Melody S. Gee is a business and technical writer in St. Louis, MO. On March 27, SolUnesco president Jon Hillis presented at the 2019 Environment Virginia Symposium. Speaking to other industry and environmental leaders, Jon covered the evolving nature of Virginia counties’ requirements imposed on solar electric generation facilities as part of their permitting process.  Jon generally focused on the decommissioning requirements placed by the counties on these solar facilities.  For the past year, SolUnesco has conducted research and published reports on  Virginia’s decommissioning requirements across all ninety-five counties (Review of Counties

The Unified Future of Clean Energy

By |2019-04-25T10:44:44-04:00March 28th, 2019|Company Update, Industry, Land Use, Policy, Virginia Solar|

By Francis Hodsoll, Lea Maamari and Melody S. Gee Melody S. Gee is a business and technical writer in St. Louis, MO. Decarbonizing energy through solar and wind technologies, as well as harnessing geothermal, hydropower, and biomass power, moves us toward meeting American’s growing desire for zero emission, zero carbon energy. The question of how and whether these discreet clean energy industries can join forces or align interests has stirred efforts and prompted discussion among industry experts and stakeholders, including at the recent Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) Conference this past October. In this article, we explore the possibilities of organized and unified efforts among clean

Revisiting the Composite Index of Virginia

By |2018-12-20T14:53:10-05:00December 20th, 2018|Industry, Land Use, Virginia Solar|

By Francis Hodsoll and Aaron Morrow In a series of blogs in March and April 2017, we discussed the Composite Index (CI) and the impact that solar energy facilities (solar projects) have on the calculation of the CI. In turn, we discussed some of the possible repercussions of the CI policy concerning the awarding of solar project permits. We continue to run across fundamental misunderstandings when it comes to the impact of solar projects on the CI calculation. To offer

Challenges and Opportunities in Virginia’s Solar Energy

By |2018-10-02T14:37:24-04:00October 2nd, 2018|Company Update, Industry, Land Use, Virginia Solar|

This past week, SolUnesco’s CEO , participated in a session entitled “The Rubin Group: Lessons from Virginia at Solar Power International. During the session, Hodsoll discussed how Virginia has rapidly become a clean energy state. In addition, Hodsoll discussed the challenges and opportunities that still exist for solar energy development in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia’s Painfully Slow Start Francis outlined three key interrelated challenges that the industry is facing: Inertia: Virginia is inhibited by an outdated regulatory system that

Decommissioning of Solar Sites: A Key Consideration of the Project

By |2021-03-25T11:30:24-04:00September 10th, 2018|Industry, Land Use, Virginia Solar|

By Lea Maamari As developers of projects that may have three decades of longevity in a community, we want to assure our neighbors that we will leave the land in the same or better condition than we found it. We know that this is also important to our communities, as questions about decommissioning have risen with virtually every solar project proposed in Virginia. In a comprehensive report, which can be downloaded here, SolUnesco has reviewed 45 county ordinances and 50

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