Louisa County changing solar regulations

Louisa County Office Building
Louisa County Office Building(wvir)
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 2:34 PM EDT
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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - On Monday, August 1, the Louisa County Board of Supervisors met to respond to the concerns of citizens surrounding solar power.

There, they outlined the new regulations being implemented, and how they will change the area.

“This affects everybody in Louisa County, increases the quality of life and protects the rural character of this community,” Community Development Director Josh Gillespie said. “What we were able to accomplish here, was to make the regulations more transparent, more flexible for people, and more responsive and responsible for our community.”

He says that regulations like these are necessary because of the current interest for utility-scale solar energy generation in Louisa County.

“The first main item that they included in the changes was to put an overall cap on the land area in the county of about 3% of Louisa, or 9800 acres for utility-scale solar projects. The second item is that within these project areas, to define no more than 100 acres for each of the project phases, and the last is to establish some enhanced buffer areas of about 300 feet” Gillespie said.

He says Chairman Duane Adams and Supervisor Fitzgerald Barnes looked at the work of other counties and localities across the United States to find out how to generate solar effectivity in Louisa.

“What the standards do is set a very high expectation for the standard of development and development quality in Louisa County. but also allows the flexibility to continue to look at these projects on a case by case basis,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie says that is what Chairman Adams voiced as the reasoning during the meeting, Monday.

“We’ve set high targets for clean energy generation with Virginia Clean Energy Act. But at the end of the day, we’re looking for regulations of those uses that are flexible, responsible and appropriate for a rural county like Louisa,” Gillespie said.

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