A solar energy farm in Person County, which officially opened today near Roxboro, will be one of the state's most publicly visible renewable energy facilities.
Progress Energy is buying the electricity generated by the 5-acre facility, enough to power about 60 homes, as part of a 20-year contract. The solar power plant began generating electricity eight days ago.
The 650-kilowatt facility, operated by Carolina Solar Energy of Durham, is not the state's largest. Progress Energy has signed a contract for a facility in Laurinburg that will be nearly four times bigger.
But the complex of angled photovoltaic panels at the Person County Business and Industrial Center is visible to passersby on Route 501. And this week, Carolina Solar Energy will launch a public web site that will provide real-time readouts showing how much energy the solar farm is generating, how much power it has generated to date, and how much carbon dioxide it's reducing by offsetting power from Progress Energy's coal-burning power plants.