Renewable energy company Energix US has scrapped plans to build a solar farm in Westlake. The company made the announcement to Franklin County staff earlier this month.
Energix US first announced plans to construct a solar farm back in April of this year. The proposed location of the farm was on 220 acres in the Westlake area between Virginia 122 and the Bettys Creek section of Smith Mountain Lake.
The proposed solar farm has faced criticism from the lake community since its announcement. During a virtual community meeting held by Energix US in April, several members of the community questioned the solar farm’s impact to the environment and whether the location would be better suited to residential housing.
In June, Energix US agreed to delay their proposal for a solar farm to allow Franklin County time to update its regulations on renewable energy companies such as solar farms that are growing in popularity in the state. The county’s regulations were still being reviewed when Energix made the announcement Sept. 1.
Energix US informed Franklin County the proposal was being pulled in an email sent by Yarden Golan, the company’s director of public affairs. He said, due to feedback from county officials and residents, they are relocating the project to avoid the designated growth area where the proposed solar farm was located.
Golan stated in the email that the company would be working with Franklin County to find a more suitable location. No information was provided on any locations in the county the company may be considering next.