A North Carolina company has broken ground on a new $40 million solar farm project in Bath in Beaufort County.
SunEnergy1 out of Mooresville in Iredell County has several projects across the state, and recently purchased 85 acres of land in Bath for the solar farm. The 60 thousand solar panels being installed can produce enough energy to power half of the city of Washington for 30 years. Washington City Manager, Josh Kay says Duke Energy is expected to buy power from the farm, but the solar farm will not affect energy costs for residents. He says it will provide renewable energy for both the city and county and help the local economy.
"We've certainly spent a lot of money here and we've invested. We're purchasing equipment from here. We're employing local people, anything from equipment opperators to electricians,general labor and a few other various employees we're looking for right now all coming from this region." said SunEnergy1 CEO Kenny Habul.
Some oppose the farm because they say it is an eyesore and it won't create enough jobs. The first phase of the project is expected to be finished December 31st. Kay says a second solar farm will be built in Washington starting in 2013 near Warren Field Airport.
Mooresville's SunEnergy1 has projects all over North Carolina including a solar farm near Plymouth in Washington County.
When fully built, the Plymouth solar farm will be the largest in North Carolina.
SunEnergy1 also completed a system on the roof of Shoe Show Inc.'s headquarters in Concord in Cabarrus County. Habul says it is the largest rooftop solar site in the nation.
The company's next targets are Edenton and Farmville.