Augusta County plans solar, renewable energy survey


augusta countyAugusta County is undertaking a solar and renewable energy survey to gather public input concerning location and development guidelines of utility scale solar and other renewable energy land uses.

The survey will be available on Aug. 29 online at www.co.augusta.va.us as well as through hard copy versions that can be found in Augusta County libraries and at the Augusta County Government Center (18 Government Center Lane, Verona).

“The county’s Comprehensive Plan is an important, publically reviewed and vetted document that guides development of its infrastructurerelated decisions throughout the county,” senior planner Leslie Tate said. “As the interest for utility scale solar development, and potentially other renewable energy land uses, increases in the county, it is very important for Community Development, as staff to the Board of Supervisors, to hear public feedback. We want the community to help guide the location and development standards of future projects.”

The Board of Supervisors approved a schedule for amendments to the Comprehensive Plan regarding solar development at their meeting on Aug. 14. The public survey is part of the process and includes the appointment of a steering committee that will incorporate community and stakeholder input from the survey into recommendations for Comprehensive Plan amendments for the Board to review. At this time, presentation of the recommendations are planned for Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors public hearings in mid to late November.

Throughout Virginia, the development of utility scale solar projects has seen a significant increase. According to the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan, over the last five years, Virginia has seen a dramatic increase in its installed solar capacity, growing from 17 MW in 2014 to more than 320 MW installed.



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