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What can you tell me about the solar farm north of New Hanover County and visible from Interstate 40?

Bill Walsh

For a start, it’s about 50 miles or so up the interstate in Duplin County; from I-40 drivers can clearly see the new facility. Operated by Duke Energy, the 550-acre site houses about 850,000 solar panels and will be the largest solar farm in the eastern United States when it goes online, which is expected very soon.

North Carolina has embraced solar farms, and the construction of two other fairly large facilities are set to get underway in Pender County, which has already approved special-use permits allowing them to go forward. The state ranks fourth in the nation in installed solar capacity.

Legislation passed in 2007 mandated that North Carolina power companies follow a schedule of using more and more renewable energy, and the stage was set for that growth. North Carolina did not have a solar farm within its boundaries before the 2007 legislation. Today, it has more than 120, and many of the companies that build them are growing exponentially.

User-contributed question by:
Denis Symington

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