On Tuesday January 12 at 7pm, the Augusta County Planning Commission will consider a request for a special use permit for an 83 MW utility-scale solar facility 1.5 miles north of Stuarts Draft on parcels of land located within the Community Development/Low Density Residential and Agriculture Conservation Areas of the Comprehensive Plan.
This public hearing is the first of two steps required for the issuance of a special use permit for large-scale solar projects. The issuance or denial of a special use permit for the project will come after a public hearing in front of the Board of Supervisors later in January.
Strata Solar is the applicant for the Round Hill Solar Project proposed to cover 880 acres, with 560 of those acres under panels. The life of the project is proposed to be 35 years. The applicant has worked closely with the county and adjacent landowners in order to create a design that meets the county ordinance requirements and the comprehensive plan language, including specifics regarding setbacks, buffering, and fencing.
Mature trees, native grasses and clover, and native pollinator species will all be included in the setback areas, buffers, and under the panels. (The applicant plans to certify the project as being Virginia Pollinator Smart with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.)
Rows, 15-25 feet apart, of sun tracking photovoltaic panels will be mounted on posts driven into the ground. The 300 acres without panels are reserved for stream and wetland buffers, topographically unsuitable land, and setback and visual buffer areas. The applicant will leave in place all temporary erosion and sediment control and stormwater management features created during the construction phase of the project for further water quality protection.
Comment or Attend
If you’d like to make a comment about Round Hill Solar’s project or register to speak at the meeting, you may do so before noon on January 12 using this link: https://augustava.granicusideas.com/meetings/63-planning-commission/agenda_items
Due to COVID restrictions on gatherings, it is likely there will be restricted in-person access but can be watched livestream on:
1. Augusta County Facebook Page
2. Augusta County Streaming Page via RegionalWebTV.com