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PWC OKs bid for new solar farm

1.9 megawatt plant to be built off U.S. 301 near Hope Mills


The Fayetteville Public Works Commission anticipates opening its second solar farm by late 2025, utility spokeswoman Carolyn Justice-Hinson said on Wednesday.

The PWC’s board voted Wednesday morning to recommend that the Fayetteville City Council award construction of the project to Oral’s Construction Company Inc. of Maxton, which bid $3.44 million. The city owns the PWC, which provides electricity, water and sewer service to Fayetteville and nearby communities.

The 1.9-megawatt solar farm is to be built on the site of a former horse stable, Sally Hills Farms, at 3858 Gillespie Street near Elk Road and Hope Mills. The site is just off U.S. 301 South. It’s one of three new solar farms the PWC plans.

The PWC’s first solar farm, a 1-megawatt facility next to the utility’s natural-gas powered Butler-Warner Generation Plant east of Fayetteville near Eastover, opened in 2019.

The new farm’s site is nearly 44 acres south of Fayetteville. The city acquired the land for the PWC in 2018 to be the site of a fourth connection between the PWC’s electrical grid and Duke Energy Progress’ grid, Justice-Hinson said. The PWC buys most of its power from Duke, and the energy moves into the PWC’s system through three point-of-delivery stations.

A fourth point-of-delivery station, which still may be built on the solar farm site, would help supply power to PWC’s customers as the community grows and needs more electricity, Justice-Hinson said.

The PWC’s first solar farm is a community solar facility — PWC customers who want to “go green” without installing solar panels can pay a monthly subscription fee to “rent” up to five solar panels at the site.

The new solar farm is not planned to be a community solar facility, Justice-Hinson said, though that could change if there is sufficient demand for community solar.

Senior reporter Paul Woolverton can be reached at 910-261-4710 and pwoolverton@cityviewnc.com.

This story was made possible by contributions to CityView News Fund, a 501c3 charitable organization committed to an informed democracy.

pwc, solar, public works commission