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Buncombe and Duke to discuss solar farm in Woodfin

On May 16, Duke Energy and Buncombe County officials will meet for a Memorandum of Understanding at the commissions meeting to discuss the next steps in the process. Duke is looking to build and to operate up to 4MW of utility scale solar. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

The county commission has approved the idea of putting a solar farm on the retired landfill in Woodfin located between Riverside Drive and the French Broad River.

On May 16, Duke Energy and Buncombe County officials will meet for a Memorandum of Understanding at the commissions meeting to discuss the next steps in the process. Duke is looking to build and to operate up to 4MW of utility scale solar.

According to Buncombe County Commission Chair Brownie Newman, engineering studies will have to be completed to verify the electrical grid can accept the output of a solar farm at that location.

Originally, the county was going to pay about $25,000 for the study, but Duke Energy has offered to fund the project at no cost to the county.

"It will produce a lot of clean renewable energy and it will reduced the county 's carbon footprint by about 15 %. It will generate enough clear energy to power hundred of homes," said Newman.

If the site is a fits, the county will lease up to 30 acres to Duke Energy for $700 per acre.

"Currently, the landfill doesn't generate any revenue for taxpayers. Now it will be about $20,000 a year from using our land," Newman said.

The study will take about 12 months to complete, but some research has already been done on the property. Officials are optimistic that it will be a successful location.





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