Hecate Energy and its Virginia affiliate, AgriSunPower, have applied for a use permit to build a 300 MW solar farm at Pulaski County. The permit would allow landowners to lease their lands to the company. According to Hecate’s spokespeople, the Project is expected to power approximately 57,000 homes.
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Hecate Energy to bring a large-scale solar project to Pulaski County
In this regard, the permit would allow Pulaski County’s landowners to lease more than 2,000 acres of their lands to Hecate, for a project expected to produce up to 300 MW of energy and power 57,000 homes.
Hecate wants the Project to locate near the New River Valley Airport and NRV Commerce Park.
According to information reported by the Roanoke Times and data from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, there are more than 50 solar farms in use or being constructed throughout the state.
Hecate’s spokesman, Jay Poole, said although their Project at Pulaski County has a significant expected capacity, a 500MW facility is already underway for Spotsylvania County. This Project is part of a 300-megawatt solar farm in Henrico County and is the result of an agreement with Facebook, currently constructing a new data center in the area.
Expectations and Benefits
Therefore, the company reported it has larger solar farms in the works in Texas, New Mexico, and California, among others.
Twenty or so landowners are currently interested in leasing their lands. Poole told RT only roughly 1,900 acres would be used since some of the leased lands is not conducive to housing solar panels.
The land proposed for the Project is currently used for agricultural purposes only. However, the company has filed for a permit to lease the properties for 35 years.
Pulaski County’s Administrator, Jonathan Sweet, said the administration had been in talks with Hecate regarding the Project’s feasibility since 2018. Poole said his company’s interest in Pulaski was primarily to do with the county’s abundance of land.
Sweet added that he hopes the county’s commitment to renewable energy yields other positive outcomes for the locality. The county’s additional tax revenue from the projected is projected at approximately $15 million over the next 35 years.
“There is a growing demand for renewable energy from major corporations. There is also a growing market for differentiated communities where counties are aggressively competing against each other to secure the next economic development project,” said Sweet.
“Having these types of assets in our community helps us financially to grow and position or county to compete and also provides us with a marketable image which may increase site location decisions.”