HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A solar facility that won approval in Hanover last week will come with a tidy windfall for the county, as the developer has agreed to pay the county $420,000 over the next forty years.
The project is a 22-acre, 5 Megawatt facility on Peppertown Road that the applicant predicted in planning documents could provide power to up to 1,500 homes.
The project has an expected lifespan of 40 years, after which the company running the facility, Ameresco Solar, would be expected to disassemble the panels and restore the site “to its original condition as closely as possible.”
“We’re gonna be here for the long haul,” a representative of Ameresco told the board on Aug. 24. “As a taxpayer and a good neighbor in the community.”
The company also emphasized their environmental stewardship, telling the board that vegetation planted in the buffer areas and among the panels would be pollinator friendly.
“We pride ourselves in our commitment to the environment and sustainable practices, particularly in the pollinator species realm,” the representative said.
According to board member Michael Herzberg IV, there was some opposition to the project in its earlier stages.
“We did have one member at the community meeting who was opposed,” he said. “The Ameresco staff and representatives did a fantastic job of communicating with her, sitting down at the table and addressing her concerns.”
“The next day she called me and told me she was no longer opposed!” he added.
As part of the conditional use permit, which was unanimously approved by the board, Ameresco agreed to pay $140,250 up front, as well as an annual payment of $1,400 per megawatt for every year the project operates.
According to the permit, the funds will be earmarked to support public safety and road infrastructure improvements.