Kimley-Horn provided solar civil engineering and permitting services on the development of a 100-megawatt solar-power generation facility located on approximately 1,200 acres in Southampton County, Virginia.
The project consisted of multiple agricultural and forested parcels located on the north and south sides of General Thomas Highway. As part of the comprehensive plan review, zoning map amendment, and conditional use permitting assistance, Kimley-Horn worked closely with stakeholders including adjacent property owners, county planning staff and elected officials, local hunt clubs, and other various interested groups; assisted in the development of proffers; presented at the public hearings; and prepared the preliminary site plan and supporting documents for the entitlement application.
Solar Permitting and Environmental Impact Assessment
Kimley-Horn assisted the developer and Dominion Energy through the final site plan submittal process and conducted a wetland delineation on the limits of disturbance for the project parcels. The delineation was prepared in accordance with the 1987 USACE Wetlands Delineation Manual and the Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Region. The delineation included identifying, flagging, and GPS-locating wetlands and waters and preparing shapefiles, mapping, and a delineation report for submittal to USACE.
Kimley-Horn prepared and submitted a solar permit application for a Nationwide Permit (NWP) from USACE. Since the project did not exceed 100-megawatts, it was permittable by VDEQ under the Solar Permit By Rule (PBR) process. The PBR process includes coordination with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF), the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the Department of Historic Resources (VDHR), Department of Mines Minerals and Energy (DMME), and the State Corporation Commission (SCC). Kimley-Horn assisted with the PBR process including attending the pre-application meeting at the VDEQ Central Office, coordinating with natural resource agency meetings, and preparing technical documents.
As part of the PBR process, Kimley-Horn assessed potential impacts to threatened and endangered species based on an analysis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS), DGIF, and DCR databases and on-site habitat review. This effort included development of avoidance and minimization efforts and a technical report of findings. In addition, Kimley-Horn worked closely with DGIF and DCR through the threatened and endangered species review process. Kimley-Horn also conducted meetings and outreach with the local DEQ Tidewater Regional Office for wetland permitting and as part of the PBR process.