Strata bags plan for 5MW N.C. solar farm
Strata Solar has hit a couple of speed bumps in its aggressive plan to build utility-scale solar projects in North Carolina. But the Chapel Hill-based company says the issues are not large and will not seriously slow its goals for stepped-up construction.
Strata has withdrawn its application for the Scotland Farm project in eastern North Carolina. And state regulators have decided to hold a public hearing on Strata’s Mocksville Farm project after opponents filed two formal objections with the N.C. Utilities Commission.
Those are two of the 10, 5-megawatt solar projects the solar developer has filed applications for since the beginning of the year.
But Strata spokesman Blair Schooff says the company remains enthusiastic about its projects in North Carolina. Strata started construction March 5 on its 5-megawatt South Robeson Farm in Rowland. On Tuesday, it will start construction of the 5-megawatt Watts Farm project. Strata started the permitting process for both those projects last fall.
Once construction begins, it usually takes 90 days or so to build one of the solar farms. But the approval process usually takes longer, and projects can run into a number of obstacles.
The problem for Scotland Farm cropped up when Strata realized the plan to connect the unit to the grid through Progress Energy would not work because a small municipal utility controls the area where the project was planned.
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