Pulaski County Planning Commission recommends moving forward with Hecate solar farm project

New River Valley News

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — On Tuesday, the Pulaski County Planning Commission voted 4-2 in favor of a proposed solar farm project from Hecate Energy.

They will submit their recommendation to move forward before the Board of Supervisors.

More than 100 residents were in attendance at the Pulaski County High School Little Theatre for the county’s planning commission meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, where a controversial solar energy farm was the topic of discussion.

The Chicago-based company, Hecate Energy, plans to put a 2,700 acre solar farm on Pulaski County farmland.

The project has not yet been approved by the board of supervisors, but Hecate has already reached an agreement with several county farmers to lease their land for a period of 35 years.

“Being a green county, having this amount of renewable energy produced here will differentiate us not only in the Commonwealth, but on the Eastern Seaboard as we look to attract next-level companies to the community,” said Pulaski County Administrator Jonathan Sweet.

Several farmers are opposed to this project, saying it will negatively impact the county’s agricultural community.

“It will destroy a lot of the scenic beauty in the county and the natural history, and I think it will hurt tourism, also,” said Joe Meek, a Pulaski County cattle farmer. “This ag land will never be put back into agricultural use if it’s developed in this manner.”

With this recommendation from the Planning Commission, it will be up to the Board of Supervisors to make the final decision on if solar panels will become a lot more familiar sight in Pulaski County.

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