Despite the benefits that such a program would provide the county and its residents, Campbell County supervisors recently denied a special-use permit for a community solar proposal. The requested permit would have allowed for the construction of a new solar facility in Gladys. According to the supervisors, the 10-acre solar facility posed an issue for nearby property owners. Additionally, they found no proof that the $2.4 million project would have an economic benefit to the county.
Impact Power Solutions submitted the community solar proposal, hoping to bring its cost-saving energy to residents of Gladys and Campbell County. Impact has a portfolio of projects that deliver low-cost energy to low- to middle-income homeowners. Though the proposal was denied by the Campbell County supervisors, there were four other installations already approved. According to Kenny Brown, Spring Hill District Supervisor, the presentation by Impact was not strong enough to warrant approval.
Originally, the community solar proposal included a setback of 50-feet that was surrounded by a fence. It was going to be attached to a three-phase distribution line that had already been set. After the disapproval, Scott Aaronson, who submitted the application, confirmed that Impact Power Solutions returned to the development plan and decreased the project’s size.
The community solar proposal called for a subscription-based service. Homeowners and small businesses would participate in the program by subscribing to a unit of energy. Based on how much energy they used, they would receive a monthly credit toward their utility bill. Impact Power Solutions representative Evan Carlson noted that there was no subscription program in Virginia and the proposed site would not be built without one.
The supervisors are not the only ones against Impact’s community solar proposal. Residents like Barney Riddle cited multiple concerns, particularly that it served no economic purpose, would hinder the visual appeal of the lot, and that there would be issues with runoff.
If Impact can revise the plan to appeal to the supervisors and residents, it’s possible that the proposal will be approved and construction on the new facility could begin.