Controversial plan for large solar farm near Culpeper to be reworked

After sustained opposition from March through late August 2019 by a local group to a utility scale solar project proposed for the agricultural and forested areas surrounding Raccoon Ford, the developer, BayWa, pulled the application. This development occurred shortly after the citizens’ group had gathered in Raccoon Ford to review their efforts and learn more about the area’s significance from a local historian.

Below is an excerpt of an article by journalist Clint Schemmer on the meeting and application withdrawal. The article was originally printed in the Culpeper Star Exponent; a link is provided after the excerpt for a full look at the article.

RAPIDAN — People from across Culpeper County and Virginia came to the Raccoon Ford area Sunday evening to advance their campaign against a 1,600-acre power-generating facility proposed there.

And in less than 24 hours, California-based solar developer BayWa yanked its application for permission to build a multimillion-dollar, utility-scale solar plant on farmland and woodland near the Rapidan River.

Coincidence? Surely. But heartening, still, to members of Citizens for Responsible Solar and their guests, as well as the tour’s hosts — the Foshay family of historic Greenville plantation. They’d come to rally their spirits in anticipation of weeks of intense work before the county planning commission held a public hearing on BayWa’s proposal.

Ron Maxwell, director of the Civil War films “Gettysburg,” “Gods and Generals” and “Copperhead,” encouraged those present to continue their efforts to protect historic lands from incursions such as solar development.

The complete article can be read here.