Conditional Use Permit Application and Map

You can view or download the complete Randolph Solar Conditional Use Permit Application.  In addition, the interactive map provides i) the project parcels and neighboring and surrounding parcels; ii) visualization of the due diligence on the wetlands, flood zone, historical and cultural boundaries; iii) fence lines and limits of disturbance (based on site due diligence to date); iv) address lookup for parcels in the project and neighboring / surrounding; and v) measurement tools.

Development Steps

Generally, a solar project goes through the following seven major milestones. Randolph Solar is currently completing site control, has completed the first study for interconnecting to the electrical grid, and has conducted preliminary desktop site due diligence.  

Identification

A site is chosen based on topography, access to the electrical grid, and other factors.

Site-Control

The developer, SolUnesco works with landowners to come to an agreement on an option to lease or purchase their land. From that point forward, the developer assumes all costs and risks.

SolUnesco has entered into 94 Option agreements (148 landowners) encompassing 290 parcels and 20,556 acres of land within the Project’s Footprint (options to either lease or purchase these properties).

Interconnection

PJM, the regional transmission organization, performs power flow studies to determine the costs to interconnect, which will be a key determinant in whether the project is economically viable.

• SolUnesco commissioned an independent power flow analysis.
• PJM issued queue position AF2-042: 500 MW MFO and 300 MW Capacity
• PJM completed the first study, a Feasibility Study, in July 2020.
• PJM completed the second study, a System Impact Study, in February 2021.

Field Surveys and Permitting

Local, state and federal government is engaged to ensure that the project is in harmony with the community as well as with environmental and historical resources. Prior to construction, the Project must achieve the following permits and approvals:

• Charlotte County Conditional Use Permit
• Fish and Wildlife Confirmation Letter or Permit
• Historic Resources Confirmation Letter or Permit
• Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity
• Virginia Stormwater Management Plan & Permit
• Erosion and Sediment Control Permit
• Site Plan Approval (Land Disturbance, Site Design)
• Building and Electrical Permits
• VDOT Permit

In order to pursue these permits, the project will complete, at minimum, the following site due diligence:

• Wetland Delineation with USACE Confirmation
• Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
• State Threatened & Endangered Species/Biological Surveys
• Phase 1 Cultural Resource Survey, with Limits approved by Department of Natural Resources
• Field Topographical and Boundary Survey
• Geotechnical Survey

Engineering

Throughout the project development, an engineering firm will refine the layout and electrical design based on the site due diligence and conditions imposed during permitting.

Construction and Operations

Only after completing the above due diligence, engineering, and permitting will the project start construction. Prior to construction, the developer will exercise the Option Agreements and either lease or purchase the land. Randolph Solar is expected to employ over 700 construction workers for 2 or more years of construction. Once operational, utility-scale solar projects have an anticipated 35-year lifespan.

Decommissioning

Prior to construction, the developer will provide Charlotte County with a decommissioning plan for review and approval. Per the Charlotte County ordinance:

“Decommissioning . . . shall include removal of all solar electric systems, buildings, cabling, electrical components, security barriers, roads, foundations, and pilings so that any agricultural ground is again tillable and suitable for agricultural uses. Disturbed earth shall be graded and re-seeded. Material from the property shall be disposed of in accordance with federal and state law.”

Also, prior to construction, the developer will provide Charlotte County financial security guaranteeing decommissioning and restoration throughout the life of the project. Charlotte County taxpayers will not be at risk for the cost of any of this.

All community members are welcome to attend the several community meetings or informational sessions hosted throughout the planning, development, and construction phases of the Randolph Solar project.

Randolph Solar - Initial Concept Plan

Representative Buffers

The following pictures show the current views in Charlotte County along representative roads that intersect the project area (Before pictures); and the Renderings which add a representative solar layout and an enhanced buffer in certain places (After renderings). The enhanced buffers represent growth in the vegetated buffer of 6 to 9 years, and will vary depending on soil conditions and weather.

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

Meet the Developers

A Virginia firm founded by two native Virginians, SolUnesco develops clean, renewable energy projects, leveraging local knowledge and boots on the ground. SolUnesco seeks to connect society’s needs to sustainable, cost-competitive energy. SolUnesco connects rural landowners with new revenue opportunities and works with local communities to ensure responsible development. Currently, SolUnesco has thirteen solar projects under development in the Commonwealth of Virginia, contributing over 1,600 MWs to the Virginia pipeline.

Francis Hodsoll and Jon Hillis founded SolUnesco in 2015, bringing together more than five decades of experience in utility plant management, energy project development, construction, and corporate leadership. Prior to forming SolUnesco, Mr. Hodsoll and Mr. Hillis had already delivered over 1 gigawatt (GW) of power via several power generation projects. They have also led solar policy and legislative efforts in the mid-Atlantic for the last five years.