Solar Development on Reclaimed Mining Sites: A Former Mining Geologist Weighs In

By |2023-01-04T15:07:44-05:00December 15th, 2022|Land Use, Landowners, Uncategorized, Virginia Solar|

There’s been a lot of buzz around solar development on reclaimed mining sites—which usually qualify as brownfields—since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August of 2022. In Virginia, at least, that interest pre-dates the IRA, and at least two projects on former coal mining sites were announced prior to August 2022. SolUnesco has been exploring post-coal mining solar opportunities in Virginia for some time, and that, coupled with my own geotechnical mining experience, might offer a unique perspective

Randolph Solar Updates

By |2021-11-05T09:04:53-04:00November 5th, 2021|Company Update, Industry, Land Use|

By the Randolph Solar Development Team In just a few months, the Randolph Solar project will take another step forward in its development, when our team will meet with the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission during public hearings. In the meantime, Randolph Solar has been working closely with our community to ensure the project will bring major tax and economic benefits while fitting seamlessly into the surrounding beauty of Charlotte County.  Over 150 landowners are participating in the project with option agreements that will benefit their families, their land,

Excessive Solar Setbacks Rejected by Charlotte County Board of Supervisors

By |2021-09-20T12:19:55-04:00September 20th, 2021|Land Use|

By The Randolph Solar Development Team On September 12, in a 4-3 vote, the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors rejected the excessive and unworkable setbacks for solar projects as proposed. Instead, the Supervisors voted to accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation for setbacks for solar. The approved setbacks will allow solar projects to: move forward allow developers to invest in the community provide needed revenue to the county allow solar developers to focus on accommodating the needs of neighbors who will

A larger footprint allows for maximum flexibility

By |2021-08-31T08:32:52-04:00August 31st, 2021|Land Use, Virginia Solar|

By The Randolph Solar Development Team One of the most frequent questions we receive is: Why do you need so much land for your solar project? The quick answer? Flexibility. Similar to more familiar projects like a new commercial building, retail space, or school building, localities often have zoning requirements for a site in order to accommodate parking, emergency access, and setbacks to adjacent roadways and properties. Solar projects are no different. Beyond the requirements, SolUnesco designs its projects to

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

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