Chapel Hill's Strata Solar to have 80 solar farms by end of 2014
Chapel Hill-based Strata Solar brings a new solar farm online every 10 days, and at this rate, the solar photovoltaic company will have 80 farms up and running by the end of the year.
The most recent farms are in Laurinburg, Clarkton and Spring Hope, part of a $100 million investment lead by National Cooperative Bank and Washington, D.C.-based Sol Systems. Strata Solar is approaching $1 billion in solar investments in the state, says Strata Solar’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Asset Management John Morrison.
Morrison says the majority of the company’s solar farms are in rural areas in the state.
“These farms increase the tax base in these low-wealth counties in which the farms are built,” he says, adding that jobs that are created, are structured to be maintained.
“We work with a construction staffing firm to provide construction staff. Once we’ve trained an individual, we tend to use them on multiple farms. We generally try to keep them close to home, as we have farms all over the state. What we’re able to do because we cluster projects, is once they are trained, they can have a pretty sustained career in solar.”
The Spring Hope farm – Strata Solar's 65th farm to come online – directly supported 80 jobs, and the company spent $200,000 in direct expenditures in Nash County for wages, lodging and supplies. The farm itself can power 615 homes, reducing carbon dioxide by 4,269 tons.