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Proposed Solar/Data Center in Chesterfield is no 'Megasite'

The Torch Solar farm will power a nearby data center
The Torch Solar farm will power a nearby data center. Torch President Jon Kilberg says this will be the first combination solar and data center in the country. He says most data centers powered by solar sit miles away. Torch Clean Energy

Tuesday, Bermuda District residents in Chesterfield got an overview of a proposed solar data project on a site that has a history of controversy.

The ghost of an earlier project known as the Megasite was on the minds of many residents, including Mike Conner.

“The previous site required a lot of infrastructure that doesn’t exist.”

The county withdrew plans last year for a “Megasite” after residents opposed any manufacturing firms to build on the 1600 acre site. Now, a company called Torch Clean Energy wants to buy the land to build a solar farm that will connect to a data center.

“We’ve seen, what we call F.A.N.G. Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, have mandated that 100% of their consumptive use be supplied by renewable energy.”

That’s Jonathan Kilberg, president of Torch Clean Energy. He says the site won’t be a “trojan horse” for any other projects. Kilberg adds that Torch and the data center could give the county up to $18 million in tax revenue and provide up to 100 jobs.

The Planning Commission is expected to hold a public hearing about the project on July 16.

Ian M. Stewart previously was the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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