“Instead of farming soybeans or corn, we farm the sun,” said Ken Niemann, Senior Vice President of Development for Caden Energix, which is based in Richmond. According to the company’s website, www.cadenenergix.com,
“CadenEnergix is owned by Energix, an Israeli publicly traded company listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and one of the largest renewable energy companies in Israel and Caden Energy, a fully-integrated company whose focus is developing utility scale solar photovoltaic projects.” The company’s mission “is to reduce carbon emissions and make green energy more affordable.”
According to Niemann, “Virginia has a mandate to add an additional 4,500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to the in-state generation mix, including 3,000 MW of new solar and wind energy in operation or under development by 2022. We intend to be a part of that mandate in bringing the environmental and economic benefits of solar energy to Virginia.”
To put things simply, solar farming is a green source of electrical power, producing no air or water emissions and requiring no county services. CadenEnergix has leased property in the Gladys, Virginia area and is pursuing a special permit from the Campbell County Board of Supervisors that will allow the company “to develop, build, and operate” a solar farm there, according to Niemann. “Other than wind, solar energy is the lowest-cost renewable energy now available, and the cost continues to decline,” said Niemann. Niemann holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia and has 35+ years of experience in electrical power generation.
The company is developing solar farms across Virginia, as well as West Virginia and Arizona. Niemann said, “We have been in discussions with property owners throughout the state, and have targeted existing timber farms since they have large tracts of land that help avoid the use of prime farmland. The site in Gladys also has an existing Dominion transmission line that we will tie into, thus eliminating the need to construct new electric lines off-site.”
The company typically does not own the land associated with its solar farm sites. It leases the land for 35 years. At the end of that time, the company removes its equipment, and the land returns to the owner or the owner’s heirs.
Niemann continued, “The site in Gladys is an existing timber farm. Some areas will need to be cleared to accommodate the solar arrays, but there will be substantial buffers around the site to minimize any visual impacts. We would consider other sites in the area if the location was suitable and the electric transmission system was readily accessible.”
Niemann said, “The public is welcome to contact me with any questions about our project in Gladys. I can be reached at: email@example.com.”