Solar Desert Deep-Sixed In Rural Virginia


PA Pundits - International

By Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. ~

For the second time in 15 months, residents of rural Culpeper County, Virginia have risen up against a proposed massive solar array project, forcing the would-be developers to withdraw their application to put the renewable energy facility in the county’s picturesque rolling farmlands.

North Carolina-based Strata Solar had planned to build the $200 million, 1,700-acre, 149 megawatts project on cleared timberland in southern Culpepper. The land on which the industrial-sized solar array was to be built was zoned agricultural in keeping with the rural character of the area.

Maroon Solar, the name the developer gave to the project, was supposed to be another step on the way to a “carbon-free” energy future, but local officials and nearby residents raised strong objections. The Culpepper County Board of Supervisors (BOS) evaluated the project and, on Nov. 12, held a well-attended, four-hour public hearing on a request by…

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