Energix-US announced plans in the spring to construct a solar farm on 220 acres in the Westlake area of Franklin County, between Virginia 122 and the Bettys Creek section of Smith Mountain Lake.
The project faced criticism from the lake community, and in September the company dropped its plans. An Energix official told county officials that the company was working to find a more suitable location.
A company official could not be reached Monday.
Appalachian Power Co., which serves about 530,000 customers in Western Virginia, does not currently draw any of its electricity from utility-scale solar operations.
The first such venture will involve Appalachian purchasing power generated by a facility that is under construction in Campbell County. The goal is to complete the Depot Solar Center, which will consist of a 150-acre bank of solar panels, by the end of the year, according to Appalachian spokeswoman Teresa Hall.
On a smaller scale, Appalachian has about 2,000 customers that are using net metering, a billing mechanism that credits solar energy users for the electricity they don’t need and add it to the grid. Most of those customers—1,951 as of last month—were residences.
The amount of solar energy is not large enough to even register on Appalachian’s power portfolio, which currently consists of about 80% from coal and natural gas.