A new six megawatt solar farm is under construction the Orange County community of White Cross. When it’s completed, it will be the second largest in the Triangle. The project is being designed by Chapel Hill based company, Strata Solar. The firm's Blair Schoof says when it's up and running, the 35-acre farm will provide energy for about 750 homes.
Strata Solar is the state's largest solar developer, responsible for generating more than 145 megawatts around the state. Schoof says two farms in the Triangle area are already operational with eight more planned for next year.
“Last year in 2013 we completed 12 and the year before we did three utility-scale solar farms,” Schoof said. “So we're getting up there in numbers. The trend next year will be to do more of the same of this size solar farms, and we'll also be increasing the footprint of these farms. So you can keep your eye out for 20 megawatt farms and 100 megawatt farms and beyond.”
The farm being built in Orange County required the clear-cutting of 35 acres of woodland. Those trees were used on site as mulch to control erosion. The White Cross solar farm will begin generating electricity in three months and will sell the power to Duke Energy.