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Hearing tonight on solar farms in Gloucester

The Gloucester Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 7:30 tonight in the colonial courthouse concerning the establishment of solar farms in the county.

Anne Ducey-Ortiz, director of planning and zoning, said the county has received numerous inquiries recently related to utility-scale solar energy facilities that would sell electrical power to the regional grid. She said the inquiries are directly related to an initiative by Dominion Virginia Power to establish 400 megawatts of solar energy facilities in Virginia by the year 2020.

“There is a financial incentive for owners/operators to get these facilities operational sooner than later,” Ducey-Ortiz said in a Sept. 22 memorandum to the commission. “The commonwealth is offering a 30 percent tax credit through the end of 2016.”

Based on staff research, Ducey-Ortiz has proposed that solar energy facilities be categorized into three types—residential, commercial and industrial. As proposed, the s...

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