Thursday afternoon, Gov. Ralph Northam announced the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued a permit for the construction of a new solar facility in Henrico County. The 20-megawatt project, Briel Farm Solar LLC, will cover approximately 230 acres and is estimated to power over 5,000 homes. The new facility is a major step Northam is taking towards a green energy core in Virginia.
“The solar industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy and this announcement is a strong testament to the thriving solar energy marketplace in Virginia,” Northam wrote in a statement. “My administration remains committed to supporting projects like this one that will bolster our solar energy infrastructure and bring low-cost, emissions-free electricity to homes and businesses across the Commonwealth.”
The construction will be completed by Urban Grid Solar and will be one of the largest solar facilities in Virginia since the construction of the 9 MW solar facility constructed in Danville last year. “Urban Grid is excited to receive this critical regulatory permit and would like to thank all the agencies who collaborated on this permit, and we would specifically like to thank the individuals at these agencies that made this permit possible, therefore assisting Urban Grid in bringing utility scale solar to Henrico County,” President of Urban Grid Frank DePew stated in a press release.
The new solar project is expecting to “offset the generation [of] approximately 64,739,173 pounds of carbon dioxide, 43,978 pounds of nitrogen oxides and 51,091 pounds of sulfur dioxide.”
As of 2018, this solar project is one of seven permits issued for to be constructed, and is a key example of the expedited growth of clean energy in Virginia. Just since 2014, production has increased from 17 MW to more than 300 MW, according to the press release. The released stated that the project is part of Virginia’s ultimate goal of 3,400 MW in renewable energy.