For the editor:
Planning commissions (PCs) in other Virginia counties are refusing utility-scale solar installations such as Dominion’s proposed Pineside Solar. The denials come from counties that had previously approved them. They say “no”. There must be something they learned.
Mecklenberg County PC and Page County PC have recently turned down project requests. Among the reasons cited was not concentrating solar installations in one place and in one community. They protected citizens from further industrial use forced upon them and all the damages and risks that come with it.
Pineside Solar would concentrate a large volume of industry in one location and is not compatible with the desired characteristics set out in Buckingham County’s comprehensive plan. It must be dismissed on that fact alone.
Additionally, there are many issues with zoning, land use, loss of property value, security issues, etc. that have not been resolved or well thought out or studied. This affects how adjacent landowners use and value their land. I believe that public safety is in danger. The land use and character of this area would change for generations.
Also, in Buckingham County, there is no solar policy or solar ordinance. Best practice would be to lay off all large scale solar power until there is a policy or ordinance.
Dominion’s request for a joint public hearing limits access to the process, limits citizen participation and constitutes bad practice. Changing thousands of acres from agriculture to industry should not be taken lightly and should not be done without the opportunity to voice concerns.
Thanks to Supervisor Allen, Supervisor Chambers, Supervisor Davis, Commissioner Dorrier and Commissioner Taylor for voting no to the other industrial solar earlier this year. I sincerely hope that the full board and commission will reject Dominion’s application.