Kings Mountain solar farm goes on the grid
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KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. – Officials cut the ribbon on a new solar farm in Kings Mountain Thursday. The farm, developed by Chapel Hill-based Strata Solar, can supply enough power to Duke Energy to support hundreds of homes.
“We're all looking to go green and be environmentally friendly,” said Kings Mountain Mayor Rick Murphrey. “It does not leave a big footprint and you can have the livestock right here together.”
The 28 acre solar farm on Dixon Dairy Road is now on the grid, using power from the sun to light up more than 600 homes in the area.
With 22,000 panels, it's the second largest solar facility in the state. The project took about three months to construct, providing local work for more than 70 installers and engineers.
“We have so many that are still unemployed in the area, due to the textiles as they continue to be depressed, and we're just so excited about those jobs,” said Murphrey.
Strata Solar – along with local and state leaders – celebrated the new solar farm's day in the sun.
“We work with the local development boards, the community colleges on training people on renewable energy intstalls,” said Markus Wilhelm, Strata Solar chief executive. “For us, this was just an incredible project.”
The company expects to build 10 similar solar farms this year – and Cleveland County could again be a beneficiary for jobs and the energy that work creates.
“We want to work with counties that really embrace it, and are open to job creation programs, where's there not a lot of red tape,” said Wilhelm.