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Company seeking to build utility-scale solar farm in Charlotte County faces lawsuit

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - As more solar farms pop up across the United States, one company looks to build one of the nation’s largest here at home.

SolUnesco is seeking approval for an 800-megawatt farm in Charlotte County.

It’s called the Randolph Solar Project and would encompass about 21,000 acres.

“We really believe this is a great opportunity for Charlotte County and a signature project for Charlotte County,” said Francis Hodsoll, CEO.

Hodsoll says solar panels could bring in heavy tax revenue for the county as they generate clean energy, but not everyone is on board.

Kay Pierantoni, a board of supervisors representative, says there are concerns over the land and how it’ll be impacted.

“That’s trying to fit in on rural country roads where hundreds of people live - sensitive waterways, wetlands, a lot of wildlife, it’ll disrupt that way of life,” said Pierantoni.

A recent lawsuit is fighting the project as well.

A lawsuit filed September 28 against SolUnesco alleges how they obtained access to one portion of land was done improperly.

It says they convinced an elderly woman with dementia into leasing some of her land for the project, circumventing her power of attorney in the process after her power of attorney rejected the company multiple times. The lawsuit asks for the agreement she signed to be tossed.

Hodsoll denies any wrongdoing.

“I did nothing wrong, nobody in my company did anything wrong and it’ll take some time to go through the court system but in the end I’m very confident it’ll all be dismissed,” he said.

While that works through the courts, SolUnesco will continue advocating for the project.

The county’s board of supervisors will discuss the project Tuesday evening.

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