CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Public Service Commission has approved the siting certificate for a large solar farm being planned for Jefferson County.
The $125 million Wild Hill Solar project will produce 92.5 megawatts emission-free energy and is expected to generate $134 million to the local economy, including $175,000 in property tax revenues to Jefferson County in the first year.
EDF Renewables plans to build the solar farm which will employ 237,552 solar panels near Washington High School.
In its approval, issued Friday, the PSC said similar projects “typically benefit the local area through taxes collected, payment in lieu of taxes or charitable giving by the company. Areas where these projects are built also typically experience increased retail spending during the construction phase.”
Several residents of the Cloverdale Heights subdivision expressed concern about the project in a Jan. 29 evidentiary hearing before the PSC.
EDF project manager Emily Dalagher said there would be no blasting during construction. She said steel beams used would be put into the ground by a small piece of machinery and they would be removed after the project is decommissioned and the land is returned to farmland in approximately 30 years.
“The pile driving that this construction uses is a small machine, much more smaller than folks might be familiar with that’s used in construction and bridge building,” she said.
The electricity generated will be sold into the PJM wholesale market.
The PSC has previously certified solar energy projects planned for Raleigh, Greenbrier and Monongalia counties.