At 9 a.m. Tuesday, the Botetourt County Board of Zoning Appeals will host a public hearing on Rocky Forge Wind at the Greenfield Education Center, 57 S Center Drive in Daleville. The issue: Site preparation for Rocky Forge Wind, Virginia’s first onshore wind project, has already begun, but COVID delays are now putting it at risk.
Rocky Forge was steadily advancing through the permitting process when it ran into delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To protect projects in exactly this type of situation, Virginia passed a law granting zoning permit extensions for projects facing COVID-related delays.
But on July 7, the Botetourt County zoning administrator issued a letter to Rocky Forge Wind’s legal counsel indicating they do not intend to honor the commonwealth’s COVID-19 extension law, which became effective on March 1. This stands in stark contrast to Virginia law, as well as our commitment to clean energy, including the commonwealth’s commitment to purchase Rocky Forge power. Furthermore, the national, and global commitment to clean energy grows daily. Those comfortable with the CODE RED warning are in a shrinking minority.
It is extremely important that the BZA, and residents of the area, hear of the strong, widespread support for wind energy in this area. Sign up to speak upon arrival. You can also e-mail comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Botetourt is one of eight counties that make up the Roanoke Group of the Sierra Club, of which I am chair. Questions, comments? Dan Crawford, email@example.com
Dan Crawford, Roanoke