Beckley-Raleigh Chamber of Commerce supports solar farm

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce is in favor of the proposed solar farm in Raleigh County.

Raleigh Solar agreed to purchase approximately 600 acres of land on Grandview Road in Beaver to place 1,000 solar panels. The Chamber of Commerce feels that doing so will diversify business within the county.

“Of course we’re interested in bringing new businesses into Raleigh County,” said Beckley-Raleigh Chamber of Commerce CEO Michelle Rotellini. “We’re also interested in a diversification of energy. That seems to be very important right now to the younger generation of Gen Z and millennial.”

The selected area in Beaver drew some questions, but the Chamber wants to utilize the land to support multiple forms of energy.

“We think it’s positive, but we do understand why other groups would have concerns over that,” Rotellini said. “That is a prime piece of real estate, and there are other things, manufacturing that could potentially go there. So we understand where other groups might have more of an issue than we do. But for us, we think it’s a positive because it showcases that we are forward thinking and thinking about other types of energy.”

The Chamber of Commerce is also excited about the possibilities for the area going forward.

“I think this will positively impact our area because it shows that we are forward thinking,” Rotellini said. “It shows that we are taking steps to do things to change our economy. Although we have a love for coal and our roots are in coal mining, this isn’t really an either/or situation.”

Tomorrow the Raleigh County Commission will vote to decide if it will accept payment in lieu of taxes from Raleigh Solar.