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Facebook, Central Virginia solar company to spend money in Campbell County

Altavista Solar expected to be operating in 2020

ALTAVISTA, Va. – Facebook and a Central Virginia solar company will spend money in Campbell County next year.

The social media giant plans to buy green energy from Apex Clean Energy, a wind and solar power company based out of Charlottesville, which will build a solar farm in Altavista.

The project, Altavista Solar, is expected to go up on Bedford Highway and Bishop Creek Road.

County leaders told 10 News that Apex reached out to them a few years ago looking for land to place the solar panels.

County officials said they approved the project in the spring and that the construction is expected to feed the local economy.

It’s one of the things they pushed for in the agreement.

“To buy local solar panels, to buy from anybody local as they could and to hire local. So, we hope we that some of our landscapers and maintenance people would get a chance to bid on those jobs because we’d love for that to be local,” Charlie Watts, Brookneal District representative, said.

Facebook answered some questions from us about the project and Apex Clean Energy development manager, Blaine Loos, provided a statement. You can read both below.

Q: Why did Facebook choose Apex, and why did Facebook choose Altavista?

A: Apex has been a great partner for us in the past, and the Altavista project had a lot of the elements we look for such as timeline and energy capacity. We also look for projects that are new and that are on the same grid as the facilities they support. After working closely with local stakeholders, it was clear that the Altavista project would be a good match to serve our facilities in Virginia.

Q: How will this work?

A: Once the solar project is completed, it will generate solar energy that will go into the Virginia electric grid which serves our facilities.

Q: How much is the purchase?

A: We do not disclose rates.

Q: How will this help Facebook? How will this help Campbell County residents?

A: This new solar energy will be added to the Virginia electric grid and will help continue to open the renewable energy markets in the area. And as Apex has said, it will generate jobs during construction and provide tax revenues for the local community.

Q: When will this start?

A: The project is scheduled to be operational in 2020.

Q: How many jobs can this bring to the area?

A: We refer you to the Apex press release.

Would you like to add anything else or give a comment to the community members who will read this story?

A: We hope this project will be an asset to this area and will bring additional investment to the community.

“Apex has been developing renewable energy projects across the country from our headquarters in Virginia since 2009, and we’re excited to bring the benefits of clean energy to our home state with Altavista Solar.

Energy generation facilities, renewable or otherwise, sell the power they generate to various entities, including utilities, corporations, governments, and municipalities. Corporate purchasing of renewable energy has grown rapidly in recent years, in many cases because of companies setting impressive sustainability or renewable energy goals.

Through this power purchase agreement, Facebook is enabling Altavista Solar, which will not only help the tech company achieve their renewable energy goals, but also will bring economic benefits to the community. The project will generate tax revenue and local spending as well as create jobs—economic impacts that will benefit the Altavista area and the Campbell County community. With Altavista Solar, Campbell County is establishing itself as a leader in clean energy across the Commonwealth and the region.

Over the past two years, Apex has formed strong relationships in Campbell County as we have developed the Altavista Solar project. Altavista Solar is honored to have received so much support from the local community, from the dozens of community members who came out to public meetings to the unanimous approval of a Special Use Permit from the Board of Supervisors. We look forward to the many years of clean energy generation to come in Campbell County.”