Understanding solar

Published 10:50 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016

To the Editor:

I would like to clear up some misunderstandings in the Letter to the Editor on Sept. 15, 2016, from Glenn Updike.

First, solar is not 2 ½ times as expensive as other generation. A technologically advanced project like the Southampton Solar Project in the Boykins/Newsoms area delivers power at roughly the same price as grid power — and Dominion Energy, the intended owner and operator of the project, has confirmed this project will have no impact on electricity rates in the County at all.

Second, the County can limit additional solar. It seems like concerns expressed by Mr. Updike and others in recent letters are not related to the Southampton Project specifically but the potential for more to follow. The County has multiple tools it can use to make sure that solar power is limited to the amount appropriate for the county.

The Southampton Project will occupy less than 1 percent of agricultural land in the county, and with the panels mounted on driven posts, and grass cover throughout the project area, the land will be preserved for future agricultural use at the end of the project life.

I have been working with Community Energy and have seen a lot of information on the project and feel it is well thought out with significant tax and other benefits to the County, and should be approved.

Jimmy Strozier, P.E.