Alachua County Planning Commission Is Reviewing Plans For New Solar Energy Facility In Archer

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A new solar energy facility located in Archer could be in the works after the Alachua County Planning Commission meets on Wednesday to consider a special exception that is required to permit development. The proposed 638-acre facility by Origis Energy would provide a 50-megawatt solar array for Gainesville Regional Utilities, county officials said.

Growth Management Director Missy Daniels is already reviewing some of the details of the proposal.

“We found that placing the solar farm in this area is consistent with the comprehensive plan and the land development code, and that’s why we’re recommending approval,” she said.

Origis Energy released a report saying that the construction of the Sand Bluff Solar Facility would move GRU closer to its goal of transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2045.

Senior Planner Gerald Brewington said the development plan, known as Florida Solar Six, will be reviewed for impact and consistency with county codes.

“Basically they provided the parameters of what they are proposing as far as where the arrays will be located, how it will be hooked up to the grid. What we do is review it — and by we I mean the county, not just planning but Environmental Protection, Department of Public Works. All county departments will review it for impact as well as consistency with our comp. plan and our code,” Brewington said.

The planning commission will hold a meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. to consider the proposal. The public may attend in-person or virtually. Once the planning commission makes the recommendation, county officials expect the Board of County Commissioners to make a final decision in March.

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