A 20-megawatt solar project in Culpeper County could power 3,300 homes, offsetting 41.9 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. That’s the word from one of several solar farm companies eyeing Culpeper for development of energy from the sun.
As Culpeper County government continues to tweak its utility ordinance to allow solar farms to build and operate on traditional farms in Brandy Station, Stevensburg and Lignum, Virginia Solar LLC is getting plans in place. Matthew Meares, a spokesman with the Richmond company, recently made a presentation to the board of supervisors favoring the conditional use process as the correct method to approve utility scale projects in Culpeper—defined as covering more than 10 acres of land, he said.
Meares said the rule of thumb is it takes 10 acres to produce 1-megawatt of solar in Virginia, meaning the 20-megawatt project he referenced would occupy 200 acres. “It depends on the topography, local zoning ordinances, the shape of the land, the amount and location of creeks, etc.,” he said.