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Planned Remington solar panel facility passes hurdle

Friday, Feb. 27 | By James Ivancic
An initial request by Virginia Electric and Power Company related to plans to build a solar panel facility near Remington was approved recently by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors.

The company needs about 202 acres rezoned from open space/park to industrial for a 90,000-panel solar station off Lucky Hill and Remington roads. It first had to secure approval to submit a request to amend the Remington Service District Plan.

Comprehensive plan amendment requests typically are accepted twice a year, in January and July. Virginia Electric, known to customers as Dominion Virginia Power, sought to be make an “out-of-turn” request. Supervisors agreed to that by a 4 to 0 vote Feb. 12 without comment with Supervisor Chris Granger absent.

The vote just allows the utility to file its amendment request. It wasn't a vote on the merits of the amendment nor on the granting of a rezoning and a special exception. The staff of the county's Department of Community Development is working with the utility to identify the approvals that are needed.

The planned solar facility would take up 125 acres of a 277-acre tract the utility already owns. The utility hopes to have it operational by October 2016. It would generate 20 megawatts of power, enough to serve 5,000 customers. Dominion Generation, the power producing segment of Virginia Electric, produces 23,000 megawatts of power overall for 2.5 million customers, mostly in Virginia with some in North Carolina. The cost of producing solar power will be borne by all customers system-wide, according to Dianne O. Corsello, director of business development for Dominion Generation.

The utility filed an application in January with the State Corporation Commission, which will rule on whether the project has merit.

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