Rockingham County Supervisors to consider two energy facilities, other proposals

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 6:51 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Rockingham County Board of Supervisors is set to meet on Wednesday night and has a packed agenda.

Supervisors will hold a number of public hearings for several special use permit requests. Among the items, they’ll consider are two large energy facilities that developers hope to build on opposite ends of the county.

The first is a proposal from TotalEnergies, a California-based solar company that is looking to build a large ground array of solar panels on 15 acres of a 58-acre property off of Friedens Church Road in Mount Crawford.

If approved it would be part of a community-based solar energy program for Dominion Energy customers.

“I don’t believe that there’s any indication that this particular solar array would supply any designated community within Rockingham County or the surrounding areas it would just go into the utility company’s pool of known community solar,” said Sallie Wolfe-Garrison, chair of the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors.

Wolfe-Garrison said that one-factor supervisors will have to consider is that the property has prime soil for crop growth.

The other energy request is from Prospect Power LLC which is hoping to build an energy storage facility on Craney Island Road near the Shenandoah County line outside of New Market. It would be built next to an existing Dominion Energy electrical substation.

The facility would consist of numerous battery containers that would each be 30 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 10 feet high. It would be able to store up to 800 Mega Watt hours of energy.

“The utility company that would be utilizing this storage system would be able to basically kind of park energy in these storage facilities until they need it in the grid somewhere,” said Wolfe-Garrison.

If approved the facility would be the first of its kind in the county.

During the meeting, supervisors will also discuss combining the Penn Laird and Three Springs Sewer Authorities. The county determined it would be more efficient and economically feasible to combine the two.

There will be no change in service but Penn Laird residents will have to pay slightly higher rates.

“What would’ve happened actually is if we had gone back and reevaluated their expenses individually and had to do repairs and maintenance on the system they’ve been part of their rates would’ve increased exponentially higher.

Other public hearings on Wednesday include proposals for a car wash at the southwest corner of Stone Spring and Port Republic Roads and a machinery and equipment center in Bridgewater.