JOBS

Randolph Solar will create a two-year pipeline of work to support one thousand full-time-equivalent (FTE) job-years during
construction of the Project. Not only does a utility-scale solar project bring full-time equivalent jobs to an area, but SolUnesco is directly supporting SHINE, the public-private partnership dedicated to creating cutting edge, industry-recognized solar training programs that help develop a qualified, diverse workforce in Virginia. SHINE equips people with the tools and knowledge to jumpstart a solar career. Click here to read more about SHINE.

SHINE Classrooms and Training Program

COUNTY REVENUE

Randolph Solar’s construction will cost more than $600 million and is expected to be the largest taxpayer in the county. The project will bring in $40.8 million in associated labor income, and $132.5 million in economic output. Randolph Solar will provide Charlotte County revenues to support local schools, police, fire, rescue, social services, and community services. Randolph Solar will also broaden Charlotte County’s tax base without adding any cost to county taxpayers for infrastructure or services. This means individual property owners do not have to bear as much of the tax burden to pay for schools and county services.

SolUnesco estimates under the Solar Revenue Share tax, Charlotte County will receive $1.5 million in the first year of operations and $113.7 million from the Project over a 50-year operational life.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Property Values

Solar facilities preserve landscape buffers and protect land from potentially less desirable uses. Solar facilities are quiet, produce zero emissions, have low profiles, and safeguard neighbors’ views by preserving trees and vegetation. Solar facilities will plant new trees and vegetation where appropriate. Some projects involve removing trash and repairing viewsheds, thereby significantly improving the aesthetic quality of the neighborhood.

Local Businesses

Several industries could see an economic benefit from a solar project during construction, including grading, installation of the racking and panels, stone mining and quarrying, fencing, transportation, non-store retail, gasoline retail, and full-service restaurants.

After construction is complete, and throughout its operating life, a solar facility can provide increased jobs and income to several types of local businesses. These include electronic and precision equipment maintenance and repair, landscape and horticultural services, employment services, transportation, equipment rentals, automotive repair and maintenance, full-service restaurants and other food and beverage establishments.

LAND, RIPARIAN, & SCENIC VALUES

Agricultural Values

The lifetime of a solar facility allows the ground to recover and replenish itself from the effects of active agricultural use. When the facility is decommissioned and all materials are removed and many recycled, land will again be available for agricultural use, often more productive after lying fallow for an extended period. Far from impairing, a solar facility actually has potential to enhance the land’s agricultural value.

Scenic Values

The proposed Randolph Solar project site is located in an area with gently rolling piedmont topography, in which the most significant changes in elevation are found in stream valleys. There are no mountains or other overlooks with significantly higher elevation in the vicinity of the Property, nor is the Property located on any large bodies of water that would create long, unobstructed sightlines along lower elevations.

Because of the extensive tree cover around the site, much of which will be maintained, gaining any view of the solar panels over the tree line would require standing 50-75 feet above ground level on a large parcel of cleared land.

Large portions of the site will be expressly excluded from solar development, some by virtue of being located within riparian buffers, within bottomland along streams, or along public roads.

The forested land along the public frontage road provides a natural screen of the property from public view. Some forestland will be extended or the solar facility will plant new trees and vegetation along public roads for enhanced screening from public view.

Riparian Values

Other than limited stream crossings by power lines, the riparian areas of the Randolph Solar site will not be developed as part of the solar farm. Water quality is expected to improve with the elimination of agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, reducing the land’s nutrient load and runoff. Any pesticide application necessary to maintain a safe solar facility will be significantly less than the amount used for production agriculture. Uncultivated grassland will reduce erosion and serve as an extended vegetated riparian buffer.

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS

Natural Habitat Values

Wetlands, bottomlands, and perennial tributaries will remain undeveloped on the site, allowing for free and unrestricted movement of wildlife throughout the site and undisturbed habitats. Higher elevation areas converted to grassland will provide valuable foraging grounds or new habitat opportunities. Solar facilities will cultivate new pollinators as a result of reducing fertilizer and pesticides, allowing wildflower density to increase.