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Virginia County Residents Concerned About 500-MW Solar Project

Some residents of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, are concerned that a proposed 500-MW solar project in their county is planned closer to residential areas than other similar large-scale projects in the United States and have formed a group to seek more answers and express their worries.

Sustainable Power Group (sPower), which owns and operates more than 160 renewable energy projects across the U.S., has proposed the construction of the 500-MW Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center—a solar project in western Spotsylvania County, Virginia. The Project Site consists of around 6,350 acres, of which some 3,500 acres will be developed into the solar project, while the remaining 2,850 acres will be preserved as undeveloped, vacant land. The Project Site currently consists of recently timbered land and borders other forested lands and scattered single-family residences, sPower says.

The Concerned Citizens of Fawn Lake and Spotsylvania County (CCFLSC) group, however, have voiced concerns with the project. Their main concern is that other projects of such size in the United States are built in desert areas in the southwest, far away from residential areas.

“As proposed, at 10 square miles, 6,500 acres — that’s half the size of Manhattan — this would be the fifth largest solar power plant in the United States – surrounded by thousands of homes and farms. The other four largest solar plants — they’re in the desert southwest, miles and miles from any residential areas,” Kevin McCarthy, a member of Concerned Citizens of Fawn Lake and Spotsylvania, said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF).

Related: Oilfield Service Majors See Bright Future Ahead

“Our research into commercial solar power plants has revealed several areas of concern with the proposed 500 MW solar power plant that sPower intends to build on 6,350 acres … These concerns include risks that may harm human health, your property values and finances, and the environment, which must be avoided or mitigated,” the concerned citizens’ Facebook group says on its page.

sPower submitted Special Use Permit (SUP) Applications for the project to the Spotsylvania County Planning Department in March 2018. The county has one year to reply. The Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors hasn’t made a decision yet, which may push back the company’s timeline to begin construction in August or September.

“Either ensure ‘Do No Harm’ or do not build it,” a spokesman for the Concerned Citizens group, Dave Hammond, told The DCNF.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • john hall on February 24 2019 said:
    Back in 1983,scientists at the university of California had created this genetically-engineered
    ice-minus bacteria called Frostban.It was designed to protect crops from frost damage.When
    they were getting ready to field test it,Jeremy Rifkin of the Foundation on Economic Trends filed a lawsuit to stop it.The reason was that the test was approved without a enviormental
    impact statement.This was the start of Rifkin's crusade against Biotechnology.He accused
    scientists of rushing to use this technology without having a formal discussion on it's safety
    and impact on society and the enviorment.He raised concerns and issues and warned of
    unforeseen consequences.Now you have these people in Spotsylvania all worried about this
    massive solar project's impact on their area.So WHY isn't Rifkin down there helping these
    people by taking legal action and questioning the project's impact?You think Rifkin would let
    the Biotechnology industry get away with something like this?The problem is that solar panels
    are vital to Rifkin's lastest crusade;his Third industrial Revolution.Rifkin's traveling the world
    calling for a massive switch to renewable energy using solar panels for power.The problem is
    Rifkin's not raising concerns and issues with renewable energy like he did with Biotechnology.
    Rifkin's playing favorites.He's in favor of renewable energy.He's not going to listen to any
    problems or complaints about it.He doesn't care if people get shafted,like what's happening
    in Spotsylvania.Rifkin's all worried about Biotechnology's impact on the enviorment and he's
    not questioning the impact of the technology HE'S in favor of on the enviorment.
  • Tom on July 26 2018 said:
    Solar Power is expensive. Brace for $0.30/KWH electricity. Residents should be concerned.

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