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News & Events | Strata Solar, Chapel Hill, NC

O2 Energies’ first solar project goes on line

John Downey

Senior Staff Writer – Charlotte Business Journal

O2 Energies’ 1-megawatt solar project starts operating today, and Avery County economic-development officials marked the occasion with an opening ceremony this morning.

The project is built on 6 acres of a 38-acre Christmas-tree farm in Newland, in the N.C. mountains. It's expected to produce enough electricity to power 120 homes.

“The county is embracing solar as a way to create work for its citizens, attract private investment and bring clean economic development to the high country,” said Joel Olsen, managing director at O2 Energies.

The kickoff included a reception at The Camp at Esseola Lodge with a ribbon cutting at the solar array. The celebration was sponsored by the Avery County Chamber of Commerce, the Avery County Economic Development Committee and O2 Energies.

The project was built by Strata Solar of Chapel Hill. The power will be sold to Mountain Electric Co-op and the renewable energy credits will be sold to the Tennessee Valley Authority .

The $5 million project is one of three announced by Cornelius-based O2 Energies. The solar developer is building a 1.15 megawatt project in Mount Airy , called Mayberry Solar, and a 1.5 megawatt project near Rocky Mount.