Duke Power growing 5-MW solar undertaking on North Carolina landfill

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North Carolina regulators recently approved the construction of Duke Energy’s 5 MW solar project in Buncombe County, the first company to be retired from a landfill.

Duke Energy

Duke Energy will own and operate the 5 MW solar power plant located in the closed Buncombe County landfill in Woodfin near Interstate 26 and the French Broad River.

“This innovative project has received strong stakeholder and local support and will continue the growth of renewable energy in North Carolina,” said Stephen De May, president of Duke Energy in North Carolina.

The plant is expected to be in operation at the end of 2021 and produce enough energy annually to supply around 1,000 households and companies with electricity.

“The people of Buncombe County recognize climate change as one of the most pressing problems facing the world today,” said Brownie Newman, chairman of the county board of commission. “The solar landfill project is an important part of our original strategy to accelerate the transition to clean, renewable energy. We are eager to see what happens. “

The new solar array will help meet the county’s renewable energy goals by 2030 while providing energy to Duke Energy Progress customers in the Carolinas. Under a 25-year contract, the county will lease the land to Duke Energy and use clean energy from the region to meet nearly 20% of its renewable target.

The Buncombe landfill closed in 1996. To avoid disrupting the ground cover, the solar shelving system uses concrete ballasts instead of being anchored in the ground. The underground cabling is kept to a minimum.

The project will be on 25 acres and will be connected to the Duke Energy Progress grid. In order for Buncombe County to include the solar power generated for its 100% renewable energy target, the company owns Duke Energy Power Plant’s renewable energy certificates (REC) to offset energy consumption from operating the county. In return, Buncombe County allows Duke Energy to use the property for free.

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