Friday, 03 March 2017 13:40

Meeting to provide information on solar farms

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A meeting set Wednesday will give the public an overview of solar farms being built in Halifax County.

The 2 p.m. solar energy informational meeting comes following numerous calls about facilities being built in the county, said Arthur Whitehead, cooperative extension director.
“Many of these calls are from people who want more information about solar energy and are concerned about the amount of agricultural lands that are being taken up for solar uses,” he said in a press release on the matter.

(To register call the cooperative extension office at 252-583-5161)

The meeting, which will be held at the Halifax Ag Center Auditorium on Ferrell Lane in Halifax, seeks to provide a better understanding of solar power and the impact the facilities have on communities and farms.
Ron Heiniger, extension crop specialist, will discuss the impact of solar panel installation on farmland.
Herb Eckerlin, a retired mechanical and aerospace engineer from North Carolina State University, will speak about the costs and benefits of solar energy in North Carolina.
Tommy Cleveland, NCSU’s renewable energy project coordinator at the university’s Clean Energy Technology Center, will explain technology, construction regulations and economics of the utility-scale solar photovoltaic systems becoming commonplace across the state.
In his role at NCSU, Cleveland leads the center’s renewable energy program which includes projects such as the development of next generation plug and play systems and leadership in the development of a Template Solar Ordinance for North Carolina.
Cleveland regularly provides technical assistance on solar topics to a myriad of stakeholders across the state and beyond.
He will examine the development and operations of the systems and explore what is known about the impacts of the systems on the community and environment.
Specifically, he will address common questions about toxicity, radiation, economic impacts and decommissioning as well as characteristics which make a site most suitable for solar development and an overview of solar land leases.


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