Turning farmland into a solar project in Chesapeake is one step closer to happening

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Turning farmland into a solar project in Chesapeake is one step closer to happening.

Frank Brickhouse told News 3 he’s glad the Chesapeake Planning Commission voted in favor of moving forward with a plan to create a solar project that would generate energy.

For generations, Brickhouse’s family farmed on land near Whittamore Road. He said right now there are soya beans are growing on hundreds of acres.

Now he wants to lease part of his land to Trade Wind Energy, a group that would build a solar project.

Brickhouse said he was happy with the Planning Commission’s decision to approve the project last night.

“It took a big weight off my shoulders,” said Brickhouse.

He said the Centerville Turnpike Solar Project would sit on 150 of the 245 acres designated for the project. Records indicate this would create a conditional use permit to allow a solar energy facility.

“I can see the need for green energy,” said Brickhouse, “You need to try to help people out a little bit and I figured this is one way of helping people out and helping me too.”

However, some neighbors don’t want to look at solar panels across the street from their homes. “I don't relish the thought of looking out my window in the morning when I'm having breakfast and looking at those panels,” said Arline Ferrell.

The final vote must come from the city council.

Brickhouse said city council are set to discuss and possible vote on this September 19.