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Duke Energy building Catawba County's most powerful solar farm

Duke Energy building Catawba County's most powerful solar farm

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Duke Energy’s latest solar farm in Maiden will be the largest in the county once it’s complete -- and it’s set to be done by the end of this year.

The 69-megawatt Maiden Creek solar plant will sit on 478 acres on Diddley Dadburn Road, northeast of Maiden, according to a press release from Duke Energy.

Construction began this month, said Randy Wheeless, who handles corporate communications at Duke Energy.

The project is one of two solar farms Duke Energy is building in North Carolina.

North Carolina is second in solar energy production topped only by California, Wheeless said.

The Maiden project is expected to cost between $80 and $100 million, Wheeless said. It will have 257,000 fixed tilt panels and produce enough power for about 15,000 homes and businesses.

The power generated at the solar farm will be fed into the Duke Energy Carolinas power grid, a press release said.

The plant is being built in concert with another 25 megawatt plant in Gaston County. Together, the construction projects will use about 350 workers.

“Catawba County applauds Duke Energy’s efforts in partnering with the private sector to increase the use of cost-effective renewable energy,” said Randy Isenhower, chair of the Catawba County Board of Commissioners, in a press release. “This project will bring jobs to our community during construction and generate clean energy for years to come.”

Both support Duke Energy’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, a press release said. Duke Energy operates 40 solar facilities in North Carolina.

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