by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A proposed solar-panel facility near Culpeper, Va., has local residents and landowners dissatisfied, since many say it would disrupt Virginia’s historic sites while offering an unreliable energy source.
“For reasons of agricultural productivity and zoning, historical sensitivity and natural beauty, it does not belong in this area,” Alex Foshay, the owner of an antebellum mansion in the area told the Culpeper Star-Exponent. “You are going to be placing permanently based solar panels upon Civil War battlefields.”
The area’s rootedness in both the Old South and Civil War history will likely pose problems for developers if they push forward with the project, historian Bud Hall said.
“Substantial numbers of enslaved people are buried on that property,” he said, in reference to the land proposed for the solar facility. “They deserve more respect than to have solar pilings driven through their remains.”
The project, to be operated by the California-based Cricket Solar, is set to cover 800 acres of land intended for agricultural use and would produce 80 megawatts of power for the county. It is the latest in a series of solar projects in Virginia that has upset residents who say solar is not the most effective renewable source for the area.