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Mocksville solar farm? | JournalNow.com

Mocksville solar farm?


By: RICHARD CRAVER | Winston-Salem Journal

Published: March 20, 2012

AChapel Hill solar-energy company wants to build a 5-megawatt facility in Mocksville, according to a legal notice filed Monday.

The N.C. Utilities Commission said it has received an application from Mocksville Farm LLC for a certificate of public convenience and necessity. The solar farm would be built on a 30-acre site off Eaton Road.

The registered agent listed for Mocksville Farm is Markus Wilhelm, president of Strata Solar Development LLC.

According to The News & Observer of Raleigh, Strata plans to build 15 industrial-scale solar farms in North Carolina, including three each in Wake and Chatham counties. Each solar farm would have the power capacity of 5 megawatts.

Mocksville Farm said in the notice it plans to sell the energy generated to Duke Energy Carolinas LLC.

The certificate would be awarded to Mocksville Farm if a complaint is not filed with the utilities commission before April 19. If a complaint is filed, a public hearing would be held.

Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, said there are several small solar projects being done in the county. He said none of the projects requires rezoning or has requested incentives.

“I certainly think that renewable energy has opportunities for all of us, and with the mandates from the utilities commission, we are likely to see more of these projects in the future,” Bralley said.

The impetus for solar farms in North Carolina comes from the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard.

It requires public utilities to have the equivalent of 3 percent of their retail sales come from renewable energy and energy-efficient sources by this year. That jumps to 6 percent in 2015, 10 percent in 2018 and 12.5 percent in 2021.

At 5 megawatts, the proposed Mocksville solar farm would be about 30 percent of the size of the solar farm in Linwood in southern Davidson County, which is the largest in the state at 17 megawatts.

The Linwood solar farm, operated by SunEdison, provides energy to about 2,600 homes — most likely in North Carolina, though there's no precise way to determine where the electricity flows once it reaches the power grid.

Duke Energy has signed agreements with SunEdison to buy the entire output of the $137 million Linwood solar farm for 20 years.

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