Northumberland rejects Whays Creek solar project

by Jackie Nunnery

Jackie Nunnery

HEATHSVILLE—After months of delays, the Northumberland board of supervisors on Thursday, January 12, rejected a conditional use permit (CUP) request by Community Power Group (CPG) and property owners Philip “Ricky” Haynie, Judith Haynie and Philip “PJ” Haynie for a 5-megawatt solar project near Whays Creek. 

The motion to approve the project failed in a 2-3 vote with James Long and Ronnie Jett voting in favor and Richard Haynie, Tommy Tomlin and James Brann voting against. In a subsequent 2-3 vote, the board also rejected a siting agreement between the county and CPG, which would have allowed the county to share revenue generated by the project.

In an effort to garner approval, CPG had agreed to 17 conditions on the project, ranging from vegetative screening and landscape plans to surety bonds, liability insurance and supplemental water storage for fire safety. Despite those conditions, Tomlin said, “I’m not sure there are conditions that would satisfy me. I have no problem with solar, but I am worried about….

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