RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe announced in an August 17th press release that Hecate Energy, LLC has received a permit for a new utility-scale solar facility to be built in Cape Charles in Northampton County, Virginia. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued the permit by rule which attempts to ensure that the environment in and around Cape Charles is protected. According to Hecate,the 20-megawatt “Cherrydale Project” will provide enough energy to power over 3,000 households throughout the region.
“This project builds on important investments we are making in the solar industry across Virginia,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “Investing in clean, renewable power sources will continue to cut carbon emissions and increase energy security throughout the Commonwealth. This is a significant step forward for the Eastern Shore and I look forward to continuing to work with businesses and Virginians to expand access to clean energy sources, improve environmental stewardship, and grow the new Virginia economy.”
The Cherrydale solar farm will tie in with the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and A&N Electric Cooperative system.
Preston Schultz of Hecate Energy LLC was quoted in the press release as saying, “As a Virginia native with family ties to the Eastern Shore region, the 20-megawatt Cherrydale solar development has been an exciting and gratifying project with which to be involved. We are grateful to Northampton County for their support throughout the development of the Cherrydale Project. In my opinion, the Commonwealth of Virginia Permit by Rule process strikes the right balance between protecting critical local environmental, cultural and historical resources while at the same time providing opportunities for the new clean energy economy to take root and flourish in the Old Dominion.”
The Mirror contacted Preston Schultz about timelines for the Cherrydale Project, “This is a nice milestone for the project. At this point it looks like we will break ground this fall and complete construction likely in Q1 2017.”
Ray Otton says
I’m no expert on solar farms but I’ve read that they can “fry” birds that fly directly over them at certain times of the day.
I don’t know if that’s truth or fiction, but if true, and seeing that we’re a major feeding ground for migratory birds does this project make sense?
tony sacco says
big mistake, this solar system will only raise the electric company lost revenue to the the already poor people of Northampton County, to get this folly approved someone got rich.
all of Northampton will see a big increase in there electric bill from A & N electric.
was A & N electric company given a chance to rebut and inform the board the consequences of the cost factor of solar not only to Cape Charles but to the rest of the county.
how come i was not given a opportunity to speak on my behalf because this will effect me an i don’t live in Cape Charles or either the other eight thousand people.
this is something being shoved down our throats if we like it or not.
some one should get a court order to stop this cape charles approval until all of the people in northampton county had a voice in this matter that will effect the majority of the people and not just a few.
were poorer enough please don’t make us poorer, and where is the CBES on this there suppose to look out for the people at least that is what they are to suppose to do, or it just lip service they do.
and what about the Board of Supervisiors they still sitting sitting on there butt , like the monkey,” see nothing,speak nothing or hear nothing”, no wonder this country is going to the dogs
David Gay says
Exactly where is this solar farm being built? A little more attention to the details would be greatly appreciated.
Note: We have been covering this story for several months, and we posted the location and aerial imagery with previous stories. The location is 15446 Seaside Road.
Ray Otton says
Just curious, is any part of Seaside road in Cape Charles?
Note: Yes: Link to Map
Ray Otton says
Thanks for the link but it adds to the confusion. That shows an address northeast of Eastville. Maybe it’s the Cape Charles postal district or something but it doesn’t look to be within the town limits.
Just trying to clarify so when the birders start complaining about fried finches they know where to send the letters.
Note: Yes Ray, I agree with you, it is much closer to Eastville, but it is within the Cape Charles postal district, so we are compelled to list it as Cape Charles, even as it is confusing. However, this is something to look into as we get closer to the Birding Festival. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can begin looking at this. Thank you.
SolarCity , the company which was recently purchased by Elon Musk, is currently not being allowed to operate in Virginia.
This is because Dominion Power, the company that the proposed solar farm in Cape Charles is going to be hooked up to, is using it’s power to prevent any other company from legally selling electricity in Virginia.
I am not an expert in how Dominion is finagling this lack of energy competition in Virginia, but it appears to happening.
If this is correct, I would be against the Cape Charles solar farm. No one owns the sun and the energy revolution should not be monopolized by Dominion Power.
Sarah Morgan says
The location is much closer to Eastville than Cape Charles. As to the necessity for finding alternative energy sources for the region, solar energy is undoubtedly one of the safest, least environmentally harmful means available today for continuing to light our homes, provide heat and air-conditioning, etc., etc. Just because we can’t see the coal or gas fired energy plants here on the Shore doesn’t mean they don’t exist. NIMBY (not in my backyard) folks, take another look at the “traditional” sources for energy and think about the ever-increasing demands on the region’s energy supply. If you want to have electricity available when you flip a switch, you will have to accept that it may come from non-traditional sources.
Anyone have a scheme for capturing the energy created by the tides? Scotland has been working on this concept for years; the mouth of the Bay would be an amazing energy source.
Being open to new (and not-so-new) technology is helping to build an energy future that is sustainable and less harmful to the environment than our current model. Residential windmills, anyone?
Ray Otton says
Windmills can cause migraines and seizures plus they also kill birds, especially raptors. In addition, I’ve seen a lot of windmill farms across this country and they’re not exactly a pleasing site.
So basically, none of the present options are free of controversy. Hard to get a consensus as to which way to proceed in our fractured society.
Michael Kuzma says
Anyone who claims that solar is clean knows NOTHING about rare earth mining and the impact it has on the environment.
What do you use to clean them? You realize that they have to be regularly cleaned or their already low collection percentage drops precipitiously.
I guess we should just be glad that Terry “Global Crossings” McCauliffe found some way to reward a donor. Have fun paying to remove them in 10 years!!
Oh, and good luck ‘flipping’ that switch………at night.
Oops!! No storage yet, so sorry sit in the dark!
Reading the comments, it is pretty obvious people have no clue what they are talking about on this subject. Frying birds? Ha! Solar Panels are glass with wire inside that soaks up the UV rays. It then turns it into D.C. Energy once it hits the insulated wire at the housing sending it instantly to a combiner box at the end of a row. The combiner sends it to a substation where it is converted to AC energy that can be hooked into the power grid.
Rising costs – again bogus! Investment groups lease the land, get loans for the construction, get the tax credits and funds from the government and SELL the energy to Dominion. Dominion pays a predetermined price for the energy produced which is much less than coal or nuclear.
The ground under these panels are maintained and nutrients flourish in the soil, so when it is time to dismantle the solar farm the ground will be rich for crops.
But there are no solar panels in the Constitution , Bill of Rights or the bible . And they are probably illegal in Texas . 😊