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02/18/2013 01:26 PM     print story email story  

Biggest Solar Farm in the East Coming to North Carolina

SustainableBusiness.com News

North Carolina will be home to the biggest solar PV farm in the eastern states when local solar developer Strata gets approval for a 100 megawatt (MW) plant.

Chapel Hill-based Strata Solar wants to start construction on the $250 million project late this year and complete it in 10 months. Located in Duplin County, it will cover 400 acres.

The four-year-old firm has been quickly ramping up projects, mostly smaller ones, but with the prospect of incentives being phased out, it's getting into big projects.

Strata wants to do big projects to "further cut the cost of power as it looks to a potential future without the investment tax credit," says Blair Schooff, Vice President of Marketing and Sales. "We need to prepare ourselves. One of the ways to do that is to do one 100-MW project instead of 12 6.4-MW jobs. Each job, in isolation, has a lot of soft costs."

This year, 13 solar projects come online across North Carolina, built in partnership with Canadian Solar. Each is about 6.4 MW, for a total exceeding 80 MW. The first project will start producing power within weeks.

Here's what 6.4 MW solar PV farm looks like:

Strata solar farm

Last year, Strata built 70 MW of solar projects there, including a 20 MW plant in Mount Olive. It's also building a 1.1 MW solar PV array on Ikea's rooftop in Charlotte.

For 2013, it's planning another 140 MW across 25 solar projects. Two of those will be 20 MW plants in an unannounced adjoining state, and the company is also expanding to California. Strata has an equity stake in California installer Paramount Solar and Strata's CEO Markus Wilhelm serves as chairman of the board.

Unfortunately, North Carolina is one of a handful of states that's considering rolling back its Renewable Portfolio Standard, under ALEC's model legislation, the Electricity Freedom Act. 

"We think the policy in place and enacted in North Carolina has been an excellent policy for catalyzing the industry," says Schooff. "We are actively growing jobs, and we are planning towards what has been on the horizon. We are hoping it stays that way."



Reader Comments (28)

Author:
Enviro Equipment Inc.

Date Posted:
02/19/13 02:39 PM

The problem with the so-called solar farms is that they can only exist with massive amounts of tax credits and/or government investment money. If they had to compete with fossil fuel burning power facilities, they wouldn't exist at all… anywhere, even in areas like the desert Southwest which receives far more sunlight the North Carolina ever will.

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Author:
Energy Incentives

Date Posted:
03/07/13 03:15 PM

Why do renewable energy critics all ignore the massive amounts of incentives dumped on the fossil fuel industry? Maybe because they are so hidden. At least renewable incentives our visible.

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Author:
Frank Read

Date Posted:
03/24/13 01:20 PM

80 acres immediately available for a solar farm in Franklin County NC, one mile from Louisburg NC, a town which resells its electricity to its residents.

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Author:
Seid

Date Posted:
05/25/13 07:52 AM

We will make a solar car. Now collecting intiomafron about it. We want to know that what type of electricity we can produce from solar energy: ac,dc or both? So how we can use the produced electricity for our solar car? Thanks.

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Author:
Dave Kay

Date Posted:
01/27/14 02:22 AM

I really hope you plan on using Enphase M250 Microinverters to maximize and simplify this project?

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Author:
Larry G.

Date Posted:
02/09/14 09:10 PM

I live in va.in the past 2 days i have passed 3 of these solar farms. I thought they were interesting until i saw how few homes it serves.

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Author:
Donna

Date Posted:
07/15/14 07:25 AM

I am interested in knowing more about the land in Louisburg NC and what else you have. Also, in the picture I didn't see a power source for the panels where are the meters? Where do you get them?

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Author:
gdub

Date Posted:
03/01/15 02:19 AM

What people fail to understand is this simple concept. Yes solar farms take up large amounts of space/land. You know what happens when a Nuclear power plant fails, think Chernobyl, Fukishima. You know what happens when a solar power plant fails, NOTHING.

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Author:
ROBERT L. COOPER

Date Posted:
03/15/15 01:58 PM

92 ACRES IN WILSON COUNTY 2 MILES FROM TOWN OF SHARPSBURG, 24 ACRES IN NASH COUNTY INSIDE TOWN LIMITS OF WHITAKERS ACROSS FROM CONSOLIDATED DIESEL COMPANY 13 IN CITY OF ROCKY MOUNT AND 18 ACRES IN RURAL HALIFAX COUNTY 15 MILES FROM CITY OF ROANOKE RAPIDS. MAYBE INTERESTED IN SOLAR FARM(S) CONSTRUCTIONS .

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Author:
Matt Boyd

Date Posted:
03/30/15 11:16 PM

I want to know the name of the company that hires for the solar farms going up in Franklin County. Im about tired of their employees running through my work zones at high rates of speed and almost hitting me and my crew.

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Author:
G.E. ROSE

Date Posted:
04/04/15 10:50 PM

225 acres available with the possibility of double that amount on farm in Edgecombe/Wilson Counties

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Author:
D. S. Allen

Date Posted:
05/08/15 01:47 AM

25+ acres in Johnston County near Flowers available for possible solar farm

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Author:
Alex Jordan

Date Posted:
05/21/15 07:03 PM

40+Acres Available for Solar Farm , Midland Tx

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Author:
Randy

Date Posted:
07/09/15 07:47 AM

Are there any new home communities using solar energy to power any part of their neighborhoods in North Carolina? I would be very interested in visiting them to find out more.

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Author:
Jenny

Date Posted:
08/02/15 02:25 AM

Looking for solar companies that work with local cooperative to possibly set up a solar farm on our farm property in Scotland County, NC

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Author:
Frank

Date Posted:
08/04/15 05:31 PM

http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/ Fossil Fuel subsidies anywhere from $10 bill to $52 bill per year. Time to change bait, Enviro Equipment ;)

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Author:
bunnie

Date Posted:
09/01/15 05:27 PM

How could our land be evaluated for solar panel placementgm

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Author:
PaPa

Date Posted:
10/21/15 02:08 PM

Over 500 acres flat with access to transmission lines would consider solar farm lease. Northwest Florida

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Author:
Bonnie Johnson

Date Posted:
12/28/15 09:01 PM

I am seeking employment to install solar panels in Eastern North Carolina.

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Author:
Urban Development

Date Posted:
01/02/16 01:18 AM

I know someone with 200-acres, will lease for solar panels.

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Author:
silver dollar

Date Posted:
01/07/16 11:47 PM

when do you see solar farms coming to VA. Have two sites one with 189 acres the other 25

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Author:
werreadyru

Date Posted:
01/12/16 10:23 AM

We have a 55 acre solar farm possibly going in (with a 20' buffer) behind our subdivision. Nobody here has talked about the devaluation of our homes or not being able to sell in the future. Screw your solar farms.

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Author:
Rona Fried

Date Posted:
01/12/16 04:09 PM

Personally, I'd like most solar to be on rooftops, parking lots etc, and I understand that you wouldn't want a big solar farm next door. Still, think about how much your property values would drop if there were a coal-fired power plant next door or if fracking was taking place - solar is certainly preferable to that.

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Author:
johnny jones

Date Posted:
02/04/16 05:35 PM

we have a cabin one mile from electricity. we need to talk to someone that can advise and install a system for 900sq feet cabin plus extra capacity. with battery backup. only dealers need to apply for a eastern n.c. location

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Author:
ruth

Date Posted:
02/10/16 02:37 PM

95 acres available for a solar farm in southern Granville county.

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Author:
tom cain

Date Posted:
03/03/16 04:45 PM

have 220 acres in south east Alabama would leas for solar farm contact 334 790 1693

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Author:
Garfield

Date Posted:
03/14/16 05:38 AM

We have 125 acres in Turkey, if anyone wants to lease the land for solar pls contact us @ (973) 664-7354 or garfieldxsmith@gmail.com

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Author:
John Powell

Date Posted:
05/27/16 06:23 PM

I see a lot of negativity about solar here.. I think it may be due to a lack of research on the subject. I own and operate a solar installation company that installs in NC and TX. If you want a farm, rooftop install, or off-grid battery system give me a call or send me an email. My Company's name is JD Hall Electric, you can find us on Home Advisor. Mobile: (704)526-9303; email: thompsonandsonenergy@gmail.com

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