Supervisors to hear request on Norge solar farm

tjefferson@vagazette.com

The James City County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hear a request to build a solar farm in Norge at its Tuesday meeting.

SunPower, a California-based solar energy company, is requesting to build the solar farm on a 225-acre property along Farmville Lane.

The project would power 4,000 households for more than 30 years, according to SunPower.

The ground-mounted panels would be located on the property about half-mile away from homes on Oslo Court, although trucks and crews would need to use the neighborhood roadway to access the site during construction.

Residents and the planning commission staff were concerned with potential traffic impacts on Farmville Lane during construction at an April planning commission meeting.

“My concern is you are putting a large-scale project with no access in our neighborhood,” said Josephine Garner, who lives on Oslo Court, during the meeting.

The planning commission recommended the project, 5-2, to the Board of Supervisors.

Commissioners Robin Bledsoe and John Wright III voted against the proposal.

“I think that construction period is incredibly long,” Bledsoe said at the April meeting. “I think this project is too much to ask this neighborhood to endure. I support solar energy but not in this locality.”

Wright and Bledsoe said they would’ve supported the project if it was near a different neighborhood.

Drew Gibbons, a SunPower representative, said construction would start in 2018 or 2019 but did not give a specific date. Gibbons said there will be “intensive construction for four months” and nine months of construction total.

Gibbons said construction usually takes place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m but could go until 7 p.m on some days. Construction would use seven to 10 trucks. The solar farm would be gated with a seven-foot fence.

After construction, Gibbons said the solar farm would be maintained by one to three independent contractors.

Want to go?

When: 5 p.m. Oct. 10

Where: 101 Mounts Bay Road

Jefferson can be reached by phone at 757-790-9313.

Copyright © 2017, The Virginia Gazette
34°