Suffolk Planning Commission eyes new solar facility

Published 10:21 am Friday, November 24, 2023

Suffolk Planning Commission observed a conditional use permit request for a new solar energy facility. During their Tuesday, Nov. 21 Planning Commission meeting, the commissioners received details of CUP2023-018, a permit to establish a solar facility on property located on Hosier Rd in the Agricultural District. Submitted by Onur Ozdemir of Switchgrass Solar LLC, the facility would be established on eight parcels on the east of Hosier Rd, 0.3 miles south of Webb Street. Suffolk Senior Planner Joshua Bateman, AICP, provided more details during the meeting.

“These parcels are within the city’s central growth area and in the Inner-Ring Suburban Land Use District. The facility would consist of 69 megawatts, and that includes the solar modules, underground cables, inverters, access roads, and security fencing, as well as basically all areas that enclose the solar facility and the relative size of that is about 157 acres enclosed within that. The total acreage of the parcels is 266 acres,” Bateman said.

Bateman also noted two single-family dwellings on the site must be demolished. According to tax records, these dwellings are currently vacant.

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Bateman described the proposed solar facility as “an extension of the Pleasant Hill Solar Facility, which lies on tax map 45*18 to the immediate south of this site…” 

“The conceptual plan depicts the proposed layout as solar panels, access roads, stormwater detention facilities, landscaping buffers, and related improvements on the subject property relative to the existing land cover and surrounding uses,” Bateman said. 

A public hearing will be held during next month’s meeting. Bateman says there will be “much more information” following the drafting of the complete staff report and during his presentation during that public hearing.