North Carolina regulators have approved Duke Energy’s 5 MW solar project located on the closed Buncombe County landfill in Woodfin, N.C. Duke Energy will own and operate the solar power plant – the company’s first that will be located on a retired county landfill.

The project will be located on 25 acres and will be connected to the Duke Energy Progress power grid. Under a 25-year agreement, the county will lease the land to Duke Energy. For Buncombe County to include the solar power generated toward its 100% renewable energy goal, it will own the renewable energy certificates (REC) from Duke Energy’s power plant to offset the energy used from the county’s operations. In exchange, Buncombe County is allowing Duke Energy to utilize the property at no cost.   

The landfill stopped operating in 1996. To avoid disturbing the ground covering, the solar racking system will be built on concrete blocks instead of being anchored into the ground. Underground cabling will be kept to a minimum. The plant is expected to be in service by the end of the year – helping meet the county’s 2030 renewable energy goals – while providing energy to Duke Energy Progress customers in the Carolinas.

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