Solar panel discussions continue

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — The Augusta County Planning Commission is talking Tuesday night about a proposed solar project that could be coming to the county.

Quillen family land where solar panels would be placed.

Community Energy Solar is hoping to put solar panels on about 1,100 acres in Augusta County. There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the proposal and some are for and against the project.

"We're saying, you know, have all these issues we're trying to bring up, have they been addressed, and there's many of them. And I'm not comfortable that they have been," Stan Sikorski said.

Stan Sikorski said he would be able to see the solar panels from his new home he is building. He doesn't want the panels to disrupt the view.

Sikorski also said he doesn't think the proposed project fits into the county's comprehensive plan. However, landowners involved in the project said it would be good for the area.

"Of all the neighbors we would want for ourselves, and for our family, solar is a great one. It's quiet, it's safe, there's no added traffic," Max Quillen said.

Quillen said the project is also a good chance for them to diversify their income and bring in a steadier stream. He said that can help them keep their farm in the family, like they want.

Sikorski said he's fine with the timeline of the project so far.

"I applaud the work that they've put into it. I applaud the plan and the vision that's here because it's actually going to go ahead and allow this county to grow in a controlled way," Sikorski said

But, Quillen said he thinks it's been a long time, especially considering they discussed the project with the company for over two years before presenting it to the county.

"I feel like there's been a lot of talk about it for a while. The facts are very clearly laid out in the application on the website."

Quillen said they think they should be able to do what they would like to do with their own land.

The project was presented to the community in August. Since then, there have been extensive discussions of the project, including listening sessions held by Carolyn Bragg, a member of the board of supervisors.