Large Solar PV installations, some 100 acres or more, are now often being sited in rural areas, where flat land near transmission or distribution power lines is common and minimizes the cost the solar farm. Land owners can benefit by leasing land for 15 or more years to the project developers that are building these solar farms throughout the state. Lease rates are often higher than other uses for the land, making this an attractive option for many landowners. Large solar thermal installations can be installed at any type of facility where a large amount of hot water is used. These systems can dramatically reduce the use of heating fuels, reducing the facilities’ operating costs. A seven-acre solar thermal farm at Prestage Foods in St. Pauls, N.C. was installed at no cost to Prestage Foods, and will cut their utility cost for heating hot water by more than 35 percent.
North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards (REPS) provide an ongoing opportunity for North Carolina agriculture to produce renewable energy by providing specific incentives for renewable energy produced from swine and poultry waste. Power produced from swine waste and poultry litter can claim renewable energy credits, which have a market value and can be sold to provide additional revenue to these projects. Only a few installations have taken advantage of the swine and poultry allocations of the renewable portfolio standards, leaving a large opportunity for swine and poultry waste-to-energy projects in North Carolina.
If you have a strong interest in renewable energy on your site, contact the N.C. Solar Center and ask about the renewable site assessments sponsored by the USDA. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/209238706