Giant solar array set to go up in rural Virginia county

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By Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.

Large Scale On-ground Solar PV Power Plant

Just in time for Earth Day, the Board of Supervisors in Central Virginia’s Albemarle County unanimously approved a massive solar array project in an area otherwise dotted by farms, forests and vineyards.

Taking advantage of generous federal subsidies for renewable energy, local developer Hexagon Energy is pouring $220 million into the project, which will feature over 400,000 solar panels on a 2,300-acre parcel of land. The site is located about 120 miles southwest of the source of the subsidies: Washington, D.C.

Construction is slated to begin this summer, and the facility is expected to be in operation a year later. Hexagon Energy and county officials say the project will provide energy to 25,000 homes and “benefit” 60,000 people, some of whom live outside the county.

“A few people have said, you know Donna, that electricity is not staying in Albemarle County, it’s going to go somewhere else. And that’s true to some extent. Once the electricity is generated, it goes up to the power lines and is transmitted to where ever it’s going to go,” Donna Price, chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, told CBS 19 News.

Massive Expansion of Power Lines

Price is right about the power lines transmitting the electricity from the solar array to homes in the project’s service area. Wind and solar power are transmitted over high-voltage power lines that crisscross the areas receiving the green energy. The additional power lines needed to transmit wind and solar power, when combined with the tens of thousands of miles of high-voltage lines needed to supply power to the hundreds of thousands of EV charging stations to be installed across the U.S. in the years to come, will blight the countryside in ways renewable energy proponents are eager to keep quiet. That is in addition to the serious safety concerns – think wildfires – the high-voltage wires will pose.

The power that will be generated by the solar array in Central Virginia will be random and intermittent. None of the project’s over 400,000 solar panels will produce any electricity at night or on rainy or cloudy days. In December and January when days are short, the sun in Central Virginia typically rises around 7:20 in the morning and sets around 4:50 in the afternoon. In other words, even on sunny days in the dead of winter, the panels will generate no electricity for around 15 hours of a 24-hour day.

While the electricity supply will be unreliable, the project will produce a steady stream of revenue to the developer, thanks to the federal subsidies. Wind and solar power companies cannot stand on their on two feet, and will require taxpayer handouts from here to eternity. That’s why renewable energy lobbyists have been hustling Washington to extend the subsidies; they know that without them, the game would be over.

Perverse Transfer of Wealth

With the enactment of last year’s ill-named Inflation Reduction Act – brought to you courtesy of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s backroom deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer – the scam is set to go on for many years to come. This is a transfer of wealth from hard-working Americans – many of them of modest means – to well-connected and well-heeled green hustlers, who provide unreliable energy in return.


  • Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.
  • Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D., is a senior policy analyst with CFACT, where he focuses on natural resources, energy, property rights, and geopolitical developments.
  • Articles by Dr. Cohen have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investor’s Busines Daily, The New York Post, The Washington Examiner, The Washington Times, The Hill, The Epoch Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Miami Herald, and dozens of other newspapers around the country.
  • He has been interviewed on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, NBC News, NPR, BBC, BBC Worldwide Television, N24 (German-language news network), and scores of radio stations in the U.S. and Canada. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. Dr. Cohen has addressed conferences in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Bangladesh.
  • He has a B.A. from the University of Georgia and a Ph. D. – summa cum laude – from the University of Munich.