Solidago solar farm near courthouse now operational

Published 4:57 pm Monday, March 11, 2024

A second Isle of Wight County solar farm is now producing power.

According to Dominion Energy spokesman Tim Eberly, the 193-acre Solidago solar farm near the Isle of Wight County Courthouse came online in August. County supervisors approved the 20-megawatt project in 2018.

Solidago joins the 20-megawatt Woodland project, which began producing power in 2017, as the only two solar farms in the county currently generating electricity. Woodland, which county supervisors approved in 2015, is located on 180 acres off Longwood Drive just over a mile from the Isle of Wight-Suffolk line near Chuckatuck.

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Construction of a third project, Cavalier Solar, is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, according to the website of its Arlington-headquartered developer, AES Corp. Isle of Wight and Surry County supervisors each approved their portions of the 1,750-acre, 240-megawatt Cavalier project in 2021. It spans roughly 500 acres on Isle of Wight’s side of the county line. Construction began just over a year ago.

According to Eberly, no other utility-scale solar farms in Isle of Wight or Surry counties are expected to begin generating electricity in 2024.

Solidago, Woodland and Cavalier are among the nine solar farms Isle of Wight has approved since 2015. Sycamore Cross, another AES solar farm proposal that, if approved, would be Isle of Wight’s 10th and largest, is slated to reach the county’s Planning Commission this spring, according to its developer. Sycamore Cross would generate 240 megawatts across more than 2,800 acres spanning the westernmost edge of the Isle of Wight-Surry line, though only around 1,200 acres would see fencing and solar panels. Just over 1,000 fenced acres would be located on Isle of Wight’s side of the county line.

Surry is home to three approved solar farms, including Cavalier, two of which are operational. In 2018, Surry supervisors approved Spring Grove Solar LLC and Colonial Trail West, two adjacent solar farms covering close to 4,000 acres near the first’s namesake Spring Grove community that collectively generate 400 megawatts.