New solar facility project in New Kent County to power 3,400 households

earthGovernor McAuliffe announced the permit for a new solar farm under development by Correctional Solar LLC, a subsidiary of Virginia Solar. The facility will be built in New Kent County and will generate enough electricity to cleanly power around 3,400 homes, averaged annually over its planned 35-year lifespan.

“Solar energy is a central part of the comprehensive energy approach Virginia needs to keep costs low for businesses, families and taxpayers as we build a new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The new solar facility in New Kent County is a significant step toward diversifying the region’s energy mix and demonstrates that Virginia is an ideal location for a thriving solar industry. We will continue to invest in energy infrastructure and support innovative approaches to bring low-cost, renewable energy to all corners of the Commonwealth.”

According to the application, the solar farm will offset 43,632,264 pounds of climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, the project will help prevent the release of 32,736 pounds of nitrogen oxide and 51,442 pounds of sulfur oxides, both of which can cause acid rain.

“Once again, Virginia is leading the charge for sustainable power generation,” said Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward. “This project is an exciting addition to the Commonwealth’s ever-growing renewable energy portfolio and brings us one step closer to accomplishing our clean energy goals.”

Construction is projected to begin in early 2017 and is expected to take six to nine months to complete. The New Kent County facility is the second Virginia Solar project to receive a permit by rule from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

“We are very pleased and thankful to New Kent County and the Commonwealth of Virginia for supporting a 100 percent Virginia-owned and -operated utility scale solar developer by approving our Correctional Solar project’s state permit,” said Matthew Meares of Virginia Solar. “This is the second of what we hope to be many such projects by Virginia Solar in the Commonwealth promoting Governor McAuliffe’s goals of helping the environment, creating new economic drivers, utilizing Virginia products and services, and attracting technology business to the Commonwealth.”

Since the beginning of the McAuliffe administration, diversifying the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio has been a top economic and environmental priority. Virginia is on pace to have 188 megawatts of solar power installed by the end of 2016, a tenfold increase since 2014. This includes the 80 megawatt solar farm in Accomack County, the largest solar facility in the Mid-Atlantic.

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