FayObserver.com – Cape Fear region news for Sunday, Aug. 26
One solar farm is on the way and a second in the works, steps that could make Columbus the leading county in North Carolina for renewable energy sources, Economic Development Director Gary Lanier told county commissioners Monday.
Strata Solar, a Chapel Hill-based energy company, has leased land off of Midway Road, not far from the Southeastern Regional Industrial Park, with plans to begin construction on a $20 million solar farm early next month, Lanier said.
Another company, Durham-based Carolina Solar Energy, is working with officials at Southeastern Community College to explore the possibility of a solar farm on that campus, also near the industrial park.
Strata will use heavy machinery to sink steel posts four feet into the earth to support solar panels over most of a 60-acre site, Lanier said. Low to the ground, the panels are designed to withstand hurricane-force winds.
State law gives solar farms significant property tax exemptions, Lanier said. Strata's $20 million investment will translate to $4 million in taxable property, or about $32,000 per year in property taxes for the county, Lanier said.