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

Retired Charlotte County Teacher Wants His Family Farm to Feed the Community’s Energy Needs

By |2021-12-15T09:58:29-05:00December 15th, 2021|Landowners|

J. Bruce Cumbie lives next to the 260-acre farm his grandparents bought in 1914, where they raised Cumbie’s father, and where Cumbie himself was raised. “My family owned a country store up the road and we’ve farmed tobacco, hogs, chickens, you name it.” When his father’s health deteriorated, Cumbie’s way of staying in college was to rent the acreage for the next decade, so others could continue using the land while providing his family with a small income. “It was

Retired Educator Sees Solar Tax Boost as a Way to Lift Up Charlotte County

By |2021-12-06T11:45:41-05:00December 6th, 2021|Landowners|

By the Randolph Solar Development Team Donald Robinson comes from a family of tobacco farmers in Charlotte County. “My parents, aunts, uncles, they all got their start on the farm.” Today, Donald is retired from many years as an administrator in Charlotte County Public Schools, and is enjoying his grandchildren, the home he maintains in Charlotte County, and being an active member of Galilee Baptist Church.  He’s also putting his 80 acres into the Randolph Solar project. “The land isn’t going to get money any other way. My

Former Air Traffic Controller Seeks Peaceful Retirement in Charlotte County

By |2021-12-06T11:41:58-05:00December 6th, 2021|Landowners|

By the Randolph Solar Development Team A 258-acre former tobacco farm has belonged to two generations of Harvey Powell’s family. Harvey recalls the labor and uncertainty of tobacco farming. “You never knew of you were going to have a good year or a bad one. Dry weather meant that good years didn’t happen that often, so we never had any money to waste.”  Born in Charlotte County, Harvey has returned home after decades away, eager to retire in the community he loves and has known all his

Retired Teacher Wants a Solar Tax Boost to Help Charlotte County Schools

By |2021-11-19T12:52:07-05:00November 19th, 2021|Landowners|

By the Randolph Solar Development Team In her 33 years teaching elementary school in Charlotte County, Nancy Lovelace, 82, often bought supplies with her own money because school budgets fell short. “I bought them project supplies and materials. I see teachers are still using their own money today,” Nancy explains, in order to give students the essentials for learning, including heating, cooling, pest control, and other basic maintenance and repairs. “The schools still don’t have enough money.” Funding schools is just one of the reasons Nancy is participating

After a Lifetime of Working His Land, One Charlotte County Neighbor Hopes His Land Can Work for Him

By |2021-11-19T12:48:11-05:00November 19th, 2021|Landowners|

By the Randolph Solar Development Team Photo by Caleb White on Unsplash David Tatum has worked all his life. He has farmed tobacco on his family’s land. He has farmed timber and cattle. Together with his siblings, David owns approximately 200 acres in Charlotte County.  And he’s run a side business leasing vending and gaming machines. But the pandemic has closed about 60% of the restaurants where his machines sit, and cut his income drastically.    “It’s just me

Local Business Owner Hopes Solar Will Revitalize Charlotte County

By |2021-11-19T12:34:50-05:00November 19th, 2021|Landowners|

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

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