Board nixes solar panel manufacturing plant | News – The Post and Courier

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FORT MILL — Silfab Solar can’t manufacture solar panels on its Fort Mill area property, following a vote tangent to the matter late May 9. 

In a unanimous vote that concluded a four-hour meeting, the York County Zoning Board of Appeals rejected county staff’s designation of solar panel manufacturing use for York’s light industrial zones. While the vote has broad zoning impact, it directly affects the plans by Silfab for a warehouse it purchased and received county incentives to operate a solar panel plant. 

About 100 people crammed into the York County Council chambers for the meeting, and filled it about half an hour before the meeting began. County staff made two overflow rooms available, and still dozens more people stood in the lobby of the building and watched the board meeting on mounted TV screens available there. 

Silfab protest

Molly Connor, vice president for the parent-teacher organization at Sugar Creek Elementary School in Fort Mill, spoke at the lectern May 9, 2024, to the York County Zoning Board of Appeals on her objections to the designation of solar panel manufacturing in light-industrial zoning in the county. Silfab Solar was planning to operate a plant in an area adjacent to school property where an elementary school is being built and a middle school is being planned. 

One Fort Mill area resident, Andy Lytle, made a presentation to the board about why Silfab’s plant proposal doesn’t belong in light industrial, citing the type of potent chemicals to be used on the site and the 70-feet-tall scrubbing apparatus that would be built to reduce emissions at the plant. Lytle and dozens of other residents who spoke to the board referred to it as a smokestack.

This story will be updated. 

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