North Carolina’s newest solar energy park was opened Wednesday, developed by Carolina Solar Energy. The farm is able to generate about 650KW of green electrical energy, enough to power about 60 homes in Person County. The installation is not the state’s largest, having a complex of 3,420 angled photovoltaic panels but is enough because it is is clearly visible from U.S. 501.
“People are stopping by all the time,” said Richard Harkrader, owner of Carolina Solar Energy. “At first, people thought it was a vineyard because we were putting up a lot of poles.”
Carolina Solar Energy plans to launch a web site this week that will provide real-time readouts showing how much power the solar park is generating to date, how much energy it has generated so far and and how much carbon dioxide it’s reducing by offsetting power from Progress Energy’s coal-burning power plants. Solar panels are expensive and putting them on public display isn’t without risk. The bank that financed the project (BB&T) wants that the $4 million solar farm to be surrounded by barbed wire.
To further promote the green theme the company will make use of sheep to trim the grass, being a natural solution because they will replace conventional gas-powered machines which release CO2 emission.