Gloucester’s solar facility goes live

Peter J. Teagle - Posted on May 01, 2019 - 02:14 PM

Photo: The Gloucester solar facility on Route 14 across from Holly Hill Antiques and adjacent to Toddsbury Lane went live on Monday, April 22. The 20-megawatt facility was constructed by Strata Solar and later acquired by Dominion as part of an effort by Facebook, Inc., to mitigate the environmental impacts and energy demands of a data center in Henrico County. Photo by Peter J. Teagle

The Gloucester solar facility on Route 14 across from Holly Hill Antiques and adjacent to Toddsbury Lane went live on Monday, April 22. The 20-megawatt facility was constructed by Strata Solar and later acquired by Dominion as part of an effort by Facebook, Inc., to mitigate the environmental impacts and energy demands of a data center in Henrico County. Photo by Peter J. Teagle

 

After months of site work, the solar array on Route 14 in Gloucester began generating power from the sun, fittingly enough, on Earth Day. April 22 saw the 20-megawatt facility go live as part of an effort by Facebook, Inc., to mitigate the environmental footprint of a data center in Henrico County.

The amount of power generated by these panels is enough to power 5,000 homes at peak output and, when compared to traditional forms of electricity generation, is the equivalent of removing 29,567 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year or 6,277 passenger vehicles off the road for one year.

Strata Solar, a North Carolina-based company, leased the 203-acre tract of land near Toddsbury Lane from RFD Farms LLC, Virginia Field Wray, the Estate of Eleanor Field Martin and Carrie E. Belvin. Dominion Energy acquired the facility from Strata Solar upon completion and now operates it.

“The energy generated will go directly to the power grid for all customers to use,” said Daisy Prigden of Dominion Media Relations, “but Facebook will purchase the renewable energy certificates (RECs) or environmental attributes that will count toward their goal of supporting their global operations with 100 percent renewable energy by the end of 2020.”

The project had between 100 and 120 workers on site during construction and, in total, 115,000 man-hours were spent on the construction.