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March 24, 2017

Remington solar energy farm project on track

Creating jobs; creating green power; putting this field to use.
— Patrick J. Hebert, Dominion project manager
By the Numbers
Solar panels that will be installed Dominion Virginia Power’s electricity generation plant near Remington.

Annual tax revenue the solar farm will contribute to the county, according to Dominion officials.

Steel posts that will be installed to support solar panels.

Feet of chain-linked fence that will encircle the two solar power energy fields.

Contractor workers onsite during peak construction period in May and June.

Years, the typical life of a solar panel.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Peering through jet-black safety sunglasses, the veteran Dominion Virginia Power project manager liked what he saw Thursday afternoon.

Under a picture-perfect sunny sky, about 70 contract workers methodically — and quietly — went about the business of building the long-awaited solar energy farm on Lucky Hill Road in Southwestern Fauquier.

“Creating jobs; creating green power; putting this field to use,” Project Manager Patrick J. Hebert said during a tour of the 125-acre site.

When construction peaks in May or June, about 225 contract workers will be onsite, Mr. Hebert said.

Besides Mr. Hebert, Dominion has only two other employees on the property — a site construction manager and a site safety manager.

Workers’ Monday-through-Friday schedule begins at 7 a.m. and typically ends at 5 or 6 p.m., Mr. Hebert said.

Work on the nine-month project began in February with the installation of erosion- and silt-control fencing, minimal site grading and tree removal.

The $47-million project will be “mechanically complete” by August and — after testing — ready to operate by October, said Mr. Hebert, who has helped construct a dozen other Dominion solar-power generating facilities in 13 states.

“We’re about 5 to 10 percent there,” he said.

When the sun shines, the unmanned, 20-megawatt plant will generate enough electricity to power 5,000 homes.

The plant also will contribute about $70,000 annually in county tax revenue, according to the utility company.

Only a day of work has been lost because of inclement weather, he said.

“We’re pretty much out of the box and on schedule,” Mr. Hebert said. “But, I’m always rooting to be ahead of schedule.”

The project has experienced no setbacks, he said.

But, Dominion initially had been concerned that the property’s considerable subsurface rock might complicate the installation of steel posts necessary to support the solar panels.

As needed, workers use drills to bore through rock to place posts.

“We’ve had very few of those at this point,” Mr. Hebert said.

Work crews take an almost assembly-line approach to constructing the plant. With remarkable efficiency, one after another installs posts, mounting racks and the 2-by-4-foot solar panels.

Ultimately, workers will place about 27,824 steel posts, 18,672 linear feet of racks and 240,000 solar panels, he said.

A wide right-of-way, which contains power lines and towers, bisects the property.

Because of that, 55-acre and 60-acre fields contain the panels.

For security reasons, they eventually will be encircled by 13,817 feet of chain-linked fencing. Three strands of barbed wire top the 7-foot tall fences.
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Observer · March 29, 2017 at 5:33 am
It is true, PV kills less birds, but it still kills birds.

But it does not matter, we will produce clean energy - only pollution happened in places where those panels were made and not in the USA and birds are just collateral damage.
MissB · March 28, 2017 at 11:53 am
I believe Remington is utilizing photovoltaic panels and this is NOT the bird killer that the concentrating solar power plants are.
Observer · March 27, 2017 at 5:23 am
9,000 The number of birds that will be killed every year by the solar farm.
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