Mt. Airy is now the site of a 1.2 megawatt solar farm capable of producing power to the equivalent of about 150 homes per year. John Morrison is Chief Operating Oficer for Chapel Hill-based Strata Solar.
John Morrison: "It is the first, or among the first of what's going to be a real wave of solar hitting. Solar prices have come down very dramatically in the past two years and now make it possible to really put solar in at a more cost-effective means."
There's also a 500 kilowatt solar array going up in Warren County capable of powering about 45 homes. Progress Energy spokesman Scott Sutton says this comes under their program to meet solar energy mandates.
Scott Sutton: "The program used to be capped at a 250-kilowatt size. At the beginning of this year, we heard feedback from the solar community that they wanted to go bigger. So we increased the cap to 500-kilowatts. And this Glen Raven array is the first one of that size which has been built and is actually on the roof."
A spokesman for the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association says these projects are good. But he cautions they expect to see a slowdown in new solar projects. Progress Energy and Duke Energy are close to meeting their minimum solar energy required by state law.