Notice of Joint Public Hearing Sussex County Board of Supervisors and Sussex County Planning Commission
When: June 3, 2024 06:00 PM until 08:00 PM Eastern Time Zone
Event Details:

Pursuant to Section 15.2-2204 of the Code of Virginia, notice is hereby given that the Sussex County Board of Supervisors and Sussex Planning Commission will hold a joint public hearing on Monday, June 3, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. at the Sussex Central Elementary School, 21392 Sussex Drive, Stony Creek, Virginia 23882 in the Gymnasium.

The Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors will consider, and may take action upon, the following:

Rezoning/Conditional Zoning Application Amendment #2024-02:  The applicant, Blackwater Solar, LLC, seeks to rezone Tax Parcels 78-A-19, (containing approximately +/- 963 acres) and 60-A-15 (containing approximately +/- 316 acres), totaling +/- 1, 279 acres (the “Application Property”), from Planned Unit Development (PUD) to Conditional-General Agricultural (C-A-1) District to construct and operate a 600 Megawatt Solar Generation, 400 Megawatt Energy Storage facility, associated equipment and a substation to allow for interconnection to the electrical transmission network. The application is being considered in conjunction with a concurrent application for Conditional Use Permit (CUP) #2024-01 for the Application Property and additional acreage to be subject to the CUP. In addition to the proposed change in zoning classification, an approved CUP is required for the operation of a photovoltaic, utility-scale solar generation facility and 400 megawatt of battery storage facility. The Application Property is owned by Drumwright Property, LLC and is located in the Wakefield Planning Area. The Application Property is approximately .5 mile from the boundary of the Town of Wakefield on Courtland Road and Brittles Mill Road.  Courtland Road intersects with Tax Parcel 78-A-19, running in a north to south direction.  The northwest portion of Tax Parcel 78-A-19 shares a boundary with Tax Parcel 60-A-15 which fronts Brittles Mill Road.      

Conditional Use Permit #2024-01:  The applicant, Blackwater Solar LLC, seeks a Conditional Use Permit to construct and operate a 600-megawatt, photovoltaic, utility-scale solar generation facility and 400 megawatt of battery storage facility (the “Project”) on portions of  18 tax map parcels identified as (Tax Map Parcels 132-A-2, 132-A-3, 78-A-17A, 78-A-18, 94-A-5, 60-A-15, 78-A-19, 78-A-11, 78-A-12, 95-A-1, 115-A-12, 115-A-19, 132-A-6, 77-A-8, 78-A-13, 96-A-12, 114-A-1, and 13-5) collectively consisting of 8,355 acres.  Generating and storage equipment will be located on up to 4,800 acres, which equates to approximately 57% of the total acreage under the proposed CUP.  The Project would be located on property in the Wakefield Planning Area and the Wakefield Election District, approximately .5 mile from the Town of Wakefield at its closest point to town limits on Courtland Road (Rt. 628), and properties located in the area of Brittles Mill Road (Rt. 620), Barrett Church Road (Rt. 605), Turkey Pen Road (Rt. 729), Cedar Sign Post Road (Rt. 622), Walter Lanier Road (Rt. 740), Union Hill Road (Rt. 606), Beaverdam Road (Rt. 606), and Union Camp Drive (private).  The Project infrastructure will consist primarily of solar photovoltaic modules mounted on steel racking structures, inverters, transformers, energy storage facilities, interconnection infrastructure, a sub-station, and security fencing.  An existing Dominion Energy transmission line crossing the project areas would allow for interconnection to the electrical transmission network via a proposed substation with the energy storage proposed adjacent to the substation.  Energy will be stored in lithium-ion batteries (or their functional equivalent) with cooling and fire suppression systems and off-site monitoring capabilities.  The applicant proposes setbacks of 150 feet around the project perimeter and 300 feet from adjacent residential properties. The permit as proposed does not permit the remaining 3,555 acres to be used for project equipment or related facilities.

In addition, the Board of Supervisors will consider, and may take action upon, the following:

Siting Agreement: Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 15.2-2316.8, the Sussex County Board of Supervisors will hear public comments and consider the terms and conditions of the Siting Agreement related to the request for a Conditional Use Permit by Blackwater Solar, LLC whereby the Applicant intends to develop, install, build, and operate a 600 MW Solar Generation, 400 MW Energy Storage facility, associated equipment and a substation. The hearing is to receive public comment on the proposed Siting Agreement prior to the Board’s consideration. The Siting Agreement, if approved, shall continue in effect until it is amended, revoked, or suspended.

The siting agreement may include terms and conditions, including (i) mitigation of any impacts of such solar facility; (ii) financial compensation to the host locality to address capital needs set out in the (a) capital improvement plan adopted by the host locality, (b) current fiscal budget of the host locality, or (c) fiscal fund balance policy adopted by the host locality; or (iii) assistance by the applicant in the deployment of broadband, as defined in § 56-585.1:9, in such locality.

Citizens are encouraged to attend and comment during the public hearings.  Comments may also be submitted in writing to sricks@sussexcountyva.gov or via mail to the County Administration, P. O. Box 1397, 20135 Princeton Road, Sussex, VA 23884, no later than noon on Monday, June 3, 2024. Any persons needing assistance or accommodations under the provisions of the American Disabilities Act should contact Michael Poarch at 434-246-1043 at least seven (7) days in advance of the hearing.

A copy of the proposed siting agreement, and applications along with supporting documentation, are available for review in the Department of Planning and Zoning during regular business hours Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., phone number (434) 246-1000.

DOWNLOAD AGENDA

Blackwater Summary

Blackwater Siting Agreement

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