The Strata Solar company’s solar farm in Cleveland County
A Chapel Hill company is proposing to build a solar power farm on land that has been traditionally farmed by a Denver family for generations.
Strata Solar LLC and Webb Solar Farm LLC of Chapel Hill are asking county officials for a conditional use permit to build a solar power generation facility on a 36-acre site on both sides of Webbs Road at Burton Lane. The land is owned by the Dellinger family and would be leased to the solar power companies for 20 years.
This would be the second solar power farm in Lincoln County. The company received permission from the county earlier this year to construct a similar farm in west Lincoln.
Strata Solar intends to develop a 5 megawatt passive solar facility, and sell the power to Duke Energy. Approximately 26,000, 240-watt solar panels would be constructed on the land. The company has completed 40 similar projects and says the facilities do not produce any emissions or odors, and noise is insignificant. The solar power farm would be buffered from roads and properties by a double row of evergreen trees, according to plans submitted to the county.
Strata Solar says the facility will be designed to meet all codes, and all components will be fenced-in with chain link fencing.
It also says the solar farm will not substantially injure the value of adjoining or abutting property, and will not contain any hazardous material.
An electrical generation facility is classified as a major utility under the county’s Unified Development Ordinance and requires a special permit.
When the facility was proposed in west Lincoln, there was little objection, and both the planning board and commissioners unanimously voted to approve it.
The proposed Denver site is zoned Residential Single-Family, but it is adjoined by property zoned for other purposes including General Industrial.
Dellinger Septic Tank has an office and small industrial facility on adjoining land, but it will not be included in the solar farm property.
Solar power farms are increasingly being built in North Carolina as an alternative source of clean energy. A 5 megawatt plant like the one being proposed in Denver would generate enough electricity to power at least 300 homes.
Solar power supporters say that the farms help the environment by reducing CO2 emissions that are generated by traditional electrical plants.
Federal grants and tax credits have helped pave the way for a boom in solar power generation.
The solar farm project is set for a public hearing on Monday, September 9 in the third floor commissioners’ room of the Citizens Center in Lincolnton.