North Carolina regulators have approved Duke Energy's 5 MW solar project in the Buncombe County closed landfill in Woodfin, NC. Duke Energy will own and operate the solar power plant – the company's first to be in a retired landfill.
The project will be on 25 acres and will be connected to the Duke Energy Progress grid. The county will lease the land to Duke Energy under a 25-year contract. In order for Buncombe County to include the solar power generated for its 100% renewable energy target, the company owns Duke Energy's renewable energy certificates (REC) to offset the energy consumed from operating the county. In return, Buncombe County allows Duke Energy to use the property for free.
The landfill was closed in 1996. In order to avoid disturbing the ground cover, the solar shelving system is built on concrete blocks instead of being anchored in the ground. The underground cabling is kept to a minimum. The facility is expected to be operational by the end of the year and will help meet the county's renewable energy targets by 2030. At the same time, Duke Energy Progress customers in the Carolinas will be supplied with energy.