Chocowinity solar farm brings economic and environmental benefits
News Channel 12
By Briana Harper

CHOCOWINITY - NewsChannel 12 toured the Chocowinity solar farm to learn more about its economic and environmental impact.

The solar farm based in Beaufort was officially completed back in December 2014. Since then, this innovative energy source has generated 10 million KWH each year-- enough power to service more than 750 homes.

North Carolina-based solar company O2 emc has developed 17 different solar farms throughout the state.

"In 2007, there was almost no solar power being generated in North Carolina.  Now solar power is one of the largest sources of new power generated in the state," O2 emc CEO Joel Olsen said.

On average the cost of electricity throughout the ENC is about 10 cents/KWH. O2 emc is able to sell electricity at a reduced rate costing only 6.5 cents/KWH.  Supporters say this is just one reason solar energy is becoming more and more popular as it generates no waste, no noise, but plenty of savings.

"It's significantly less than the average cost and long-term we will be selling power the same rate for 15 years. No matter what happens to natural gas prices, if there is a hurricane or polar vortex-- the electricity coming from Chocowinity solar will cost the exact same," Olsen said.

The Chocowinity solar farm has also added up to $30,000 to Beaufort County's tax base, in addition to providing hundreds of new jobs.