Last updated: June 16. 2014 11:00PM - 1214 Views
By - wtoler@civitasmedia.com

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ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County could soon see a new crop of solar panels springing up.

Innovative Solar filed an application with the N.C. Utilities Commission in late April for a 50-megawatt facility on the corner of Currie Road and Derby Road near Jackson Springs in the northeast section of the county.

A representative with the company said he was unable to disclose any details due to confidentiality agreements.

According to paperwork filed with the state utilities commission, the company will lease the 226-acre site from the landowners and sell the generated energy to Duke Energy Progress.

Pending government permits, company officials expect to complete work on the solar farm site by Nov. 1, 2015.

County Manager Rick Sago said he was unaware of the plans aside from the public notice he read in the Daily Journal.

The Asheville-based company currently has 11 sites in Buncombe, Henderson, Rutherford and Haywood counties.

There are already two solar farms located in Richmond County.

Asheville-based FLS Energy has a small site in Ellerbe, which was completed last year.

Another company, Strata Solar, has one facility in Richmond County. The Rock Farm is located just behind Rockingham Speedway off N.C. 177.

According to the company’s website, the 6.65 megawatt farm generates 9,975 megawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power 771 homes.

The website also says there are no emissions, noise or traffic associated with the farm and that it has an operational life of more than 30 years.

In January, commissioners in neighboring Anson County denied a conditional-use permit to Strata Solar following a public outcry over health and location concerns.

Reach reporter William R. Toler at 910-997-3111, ext. 16.

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