Israeli renewable energy company Energix Renewable Energies Ltd.is exploring the potential of building a total 500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy projects across Virginia, and state and local officials made sure Wise County was included as a potential project site. Energix is a specialist in solar and wind projects not only in Israel but significant projects in Poland and emerging projects in parts of Africa.
Wise County "wants to take the lead" in its own economic revitalization efforts and be innovative doing so, the potential of federal and state funds for a renewables project, and perhaps political clout at the federal level.
Wise County Circuit Court Clerk J. Jack Kennedy intimated a solar project could support the voracious energy consumption needs of the county's expanding data center industry, a major attractant for that industry to grow even more.
For several years, Sykes Enterprises has operated a customer care center facility at Lonesome Pine Business & Technology Park located adjacent to Lonesome Pine Airport, now with brand new neighbors Frontier Secure, opening this month, and Mineral Gap Data Center, currently under construction. Potential Energix solar sites to be eyed by Levinger and Cohen during their visit are in that area.
State Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City said, "We pride ourselves on producing a lot of energy including coal and gas, and this will just add to that mix. If we can do solar, that will set us apart from the rest of the state. We're going to do what we can do to land (Energix)."