Powering Virginia with Solar
7 Bridges Solar is a proposed project in Mecklenburg County, Virginia that could power approximately 16,000 Virginia homes. The project area lands are currently forested and have been in logging rotation for many decades, located three and a half miles Northeast of Chase City between Scott’s Crossroads and Route 49. The site’s developer, Longroad Energy, operates approximately 5,000 MW of renewable energy projects nationwide.
Screened from View
The current site has mature forests surrounding the lands that are proposed for solar panel installation, such that the paneled area will not be visible to the public from any public roadways or residences. The forested screen around the project will be maintained for the life of the project as a condition of the county permit.
Responsive to the Community
Longroad Energy spent over a year listening to the community, and responded with substantial improvements to 7 Bridges Solar, including:
- Reduced the active project area from approximately 942 acres to approximately 499 acres of developed areas, within which approximately 200 acres will be under solar panels
- Reduced the project capacity from 105 Megawatts (alternating current) to 80 Megawatts (alternating current)
- Moved the project site over two miles from Grasshopper Solar
- Moved the project farther from Scott’s Crossroads
- Moved the project farther from the South Meherrin River
- Proposed county permit commitments to minimize land disturbance during construction, to reduce construction traffic impact on Scott’s Crossroads, and to prevent and/or clean up construction dirt on Scott’s Crossroads
Longroad has conducted an engineering analysis of the site wetlands, streams, and the Meherrin River to support a site design that protects aquatic resources from impacts during site development. Additionally, we have invited community input at public meetings in order to hear about the local resident concerns. Based on the engineering analysis and community input, Longroad has pulled panels back from the Meherrin River and tributaries by at least 400′ – well more than required by the State Department of Environmental Quality.
Additionally, Longroad will plant native grasses and pollinators throughout the site, and has talked to local bee-keepers who will use the site for bee hives and honey production. A detailed wildlife analysis was completed to ensure that the site would not impact any protected species.
Solar in Southside Virginia
The 2018 Virginia Energy Plan deemed 5,000 megawatts of utility scale renewable to be in public best interest with at least 3,000 megawatts to come online by 2022. Current legislation in the General Assembly plans to achieve 30% carbon free electricity generation by 2030 and zero-carbon emissions by 2050.