Lake County Board of County Commissioners Unanimously Approve Land Zoning Request
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lake Mary, FL – BlueChip Energy, LLC (BCE) a fully-integrated solar energy provider for utility, commercial, and residential applications, today announced it has received approval for rezoning of the 201 acres of land it purchased for the development of a 40 megawatt (MW) Solar Farm in Sorrento, Florida.
Just ten weeks after submitting its solar energy project plan, BCE appeared before the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and received unanimous approval, only two weeks after receiving recommendation, also by unanimous approval, from the Lake County Zoning Board.
“The expeditious permitting process is remarkable considering the months or even years that some large scale projects have taken historically.” commented Craig Livingston, Project Manager for the company. BCE is anticipating ground breaking for the Sorrento Solar Farm in early July.
“Final approval for the development of Sorrento Solar Farm is a landmark decision for both Lake County and the State of Florida,” said Thomas Gregory, Chief Strategy Officer for BlueChip Energy. “We commend both the Planning and Zoning Board and the Board of County Commissioners for their support of this project – recognizing that this utility-scale solar project will bring significant economic opportunity to Lake County.”
The Sorrento Solar Farm will provide up to 250 construction and maintenance jobs, close to 150 manufacturing jobs and several million dollars in total wages. In addition, according to the Jobs and Economic Development Impact Model published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, it is estimated that a total of more than 2,200 jobs will be positively impacted over the life of the project – translating into over $122 million in earnings.
Upon completion, Sorrento Solar Farm will be a 40 MW solar photovoltaic generating facility on less than 200 acres of rural land in Lake County, Florida. This emission-free, state-of-the-art PV facility will be the largest privately owned solar farm in the State of Florida and one of the largest in the United States.
Power generated from the solar plant will displace over 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and generate an estimated 64 million kilowatt hours per year – enough to fulfill the average annual electricity needs for approximately 8,000 typical Florida homes. The power produced will be sold to Progress Energy Florida under a Power Purchase Agreement.
“We welcome the economic development to Lake County and look forward to working with BlueChip Energy to bring renewable energy to the residents of the community.” stated Shane Miller, a local business man and homeowner in neighboring Sorrento Springs at Eagle Dunes Golf Club. BlueChip is working with the Home Owners Association and residents of the planned golf community to provide solar to power many of the development’s amenities and offer solar to the residents in the most effective way possible.
Exceptional attention has been given to the planning of the solar farm while taking into consideration the environment of its location. Sited on rolling pastureland in rural Lake County, BCE is taking great care to minimize and mitigate any impact to the land and its habitants. Plans call for enhanced landscape buffers and a preservation area. Construction techniques will eliminate grading, additional roads and drainage ditches. The low-profile design, placing panels at no more than seven feet off the ground, will follow the contours of the land while leaving the topography and natural environment intact. The solar farm will also feature a section for research and development and an observation deck for the public.
BlueChip Energy, LLC is a fully-integrated solar PV power generator, occupying all segments of the solar power value chain, from manufacturing of solar panels and balance of systems components, to the sale of turnkey solar power plants – and solar electricity — to utility, commercial, and residential customers. BCE develops finances, constructs, operates, and monitors solar plants for companies and individuals. The company is also a licensed provider of renewable solar energy as a qualifying power production facility with the right to sell electricity to a utility company.