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April 14, 2021

5-megawatt solar farm proposed near Bealeton

Photo/Dynamic Energy LLC
The proposal calls for rack mounted solar panels about 1,700 east of Route 17 — similar to this array.
If the project is awarded a (Virginia Clean Economy Act) program contract, construction could begin as early as six months from program acceptance. Construction is anticipated to take approximately six to nine months.
— Dynamic Energy LLC
Public Hearing
• Topic: Applicant seeks comprehensive plan compliance review to construct a 5-megawatt “utility-scale,” solar energy generation facility on 40 acres of a 170-acre farm along Route 17 just south of Bealeton.

• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15.

• Where: Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel St., Warrenton.

• Agency: Fauquier County Planning Commission.

• Applicant: Dynamic Energy LLC, Wayne, Pa.

• Landowners: Eddie and Sheila Bennett, Sterling, Va.

• Details: Bealeton Marsh Solar project would generate electricity to serve the equivalent of about 1,000 homes; project would place no demands on public infrastructure such as school, water and sewer systems and would employ one to three part-time people to maintain it, according to the applicant.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
A Pennsylvania-based company wants to build a five-megawatt “utility-scale” solar farm south of Bealeton that would generate enough electricity to power about 1,000 homes.

But, the project’s future depends on Fauquier County approval and developer Dynamic Energy LLC’s ability to secure a “program contract” through a Virginia Clean Economy Act “shared solar” program.

Fauquier’s planning commission Thursday night will conduct a public hearing to determine if Dynamic Energy’s proposed Bealeton Marsh Solar project substantially conforms with the county comprehensive plan.

The hearing will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Warren Green Building at 10 Hotel St. in Warrenton.

If the commission determines the proposal largely complies with Fauquier’s comprehensive plan — and the board of supervisors subsequently agrees — Dynamic Energy also must obtain special exception permit approval from the county to construct the solar farm.

The comprehensive plan compliance review process doesn’t involve a public hearing before the supervisors.

Virginia on July 1 plans to begin accepting “shared solar” program applications, according to Dynamic Energy.

“If the project is awarded a (Virginia Clean Economy Act) program contract, construction could begin as early as six months from program acceptance,” the company states in its application seeking comprehensive plan approval. “Construction is anticipated to take approximately six to nine months.”

> Document at bottom of story

The shared solar program would give “local Dominion customers the option to purchase a subscription for clean energy, typically at a reduced rate from their existing rate,” according to Dynamic Energy.

A company representative couldn’t be reached to comment for this story.

The Bealeton Marsh Solar project would occupy about 40 acres of an approximately 160-acre farm. The site lies on the east side of Route 17 about six miles south of Bealeton. The Virginia Department of Transportation maintenance garage stands just north of the farm.

“The solar panels will be installed using a tracker-mounting system elevated above the ground utilizing steel posts,” the county application states.

The facility’s location on the site — about 1,700 feet from Route 17 — and existing vegetation as well as proposed landscaping and fencing would help obscure it, according to Dynamic Energy.

The project would have “a net positive economic impact” on Fauquier, creating 30 to 40 construction jobs and employ one to three part-time people to maintain it, application states.

It would place no demands on public infrastructure such as school, water and sewer systems, according to Dynamic Energy.

And, “there will be minimal traffic to the site after construction,” the application states. “A maintenance truck will be onsite every three to six months.”

The Wayne, Pa.-based company estimates the solar farm’s “lifespan” at 30 years.

Besides comprehensive plan approval, Dynamic Energy would need a special exception permit from the county to construct the proposed solar farm. The permit review process, which can take months, involves public hearings before the planning commission and the supervisors.

The commission serves as an advisory panel to the supervisors, who have final authority.

Established in 2007, Dynamic Energy describes itself as a “leading full-service provider of solar energy solutions to commercial and institutional customers,” with 200 projects completed, according to the company website.

Developed and owned by Dominion Virginia Power, Fauquier’s first solar farm on 125 acres east of Remington began operating in 2017.

The 20-megawatt solar plant can produce electricity to power 5,000 homes.

Contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-0300.

BealetonSolarCOMR_PCreport_... by Fauquier Now

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