Bacon Bits: Centrists, Solar, and CNU

A force for centrism and pragmatism. While Virginia increasingly emulates the hyper-polarized politics of Washington, D.C., a new group has entered the fray. Unite Virginia, an arm of Unite America, held  a “Unity breakfast” yesterday in Richmond to honor four Republican and Democratic legislators for their bipartisanship. Unite America, launched in 2013, says it is building a movement to “elect common-sense, independent candidates” to serve people, not party bosses or special interests, reports The Virginia Mercury. The organization will make endorsements and contribute to Virginia General Assembly campaigns this year.

Giant solar project approved in Charles City County. sPower’s proposed solar mega-project in Spotsylvania County remains mired in controversy, but the solar developer has had better luck in Charles City County. The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a special-use permit for the $415 million project. The solar farm will be built on 1,400 acres. Utah-based sPower will put an additional 800 acres at the site into conservation. The permit requires that the solar farm install a 100- to 300-foot vegetated barrier around the perimeter, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

CNU proposes tuition freeze. Christopher Newport University joins Virginia Commonwealth University in proposing to freeze its tuition next year. President Paul Trible cited the $57.5 million the General Assembly approved this year to incentivize public colleges and universities to hold back tuition hikes, which have increased relentlessly over the past two decades. At CNU, the cost has nearly doubled since the 2008-09 school year, from $7,550 to $14,754 this year, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

There are currently no comments highlighted.

3 responses to “Bacon Bits: Centrists, Solar, and CNU

  1. Pingback: Bacon Bits: Centrists, Solar, and CNU | ElectriCache

  2. Where do low cost land and nearby transmission lines intersect? That’s where the big solar developers are looking. It helps to have a supportive local government. These days, when there are still plenty of good sites meeting those three criteria available, there are a limited few where there’s an added bonus: existing connections to those transmission lines at substations with sufficient unused capability to allow the solar developer to connect immediately and without the cost of upgrading the local utility’s facilities. Or at least, with minimal upgrade cost.

    Perhaps you notice, proximity to electricity customers is NOT a criterion. Once a solar developer’s power is on the high-voltage grid, it is effectively delivered to every potential customer on the grid. But it is a fact that most transmission lines converge on population centers, and that’s where most of the big substations are also, especially those with unused capacity to absorb new energy generation. Sometimes a lower cost to connect to the grid can offset the higher cost of land in a gentrifying location like Spotsylvania County. But then, with gentrification, NIMBY becomes a significant factor.

    So we can expect to see big solar projects in places like Charles City County and Mathews County and Accomack County. But Spotsylvania was a stretch. If you were seeking to keep your Spotsylvania family farm together despite higher taxes and looking for supplemental income from solar generation to help do it, there’s a local government that, predictably, is not going to make it easy.

  3. “If you were seeking to keep your Spotsylvania family farm together despite higher taxes and looking for supplemental income from solar generation to help do it, there’s a local government that, predictably, is not going to make it easy.” Which is a good thing since local governments should protect local interests, which include preserving family farms from being converted into industrial uses such as covering local farm lands with metal and glass solar panels, and spinning metal blades, that destroy the local ecosystems, and the quality of life of everyone and everything that lives there.

    “So we can expect to see big solar projects in places like … Accomack County.” Which of course is too bad thing since Accomack County has one of the most precious, unique, historic and fragile ecology’s on the planet earth. Now Virginia’s Governor fowls up his own nest, and that of his ancestors, what a guy!

Leave a Reply