Headwaters Solar site

An Asheville solar farm company has chosen a third site in Davie County for a proposed facility.

Headwaters Solar LLC said in a legal notice Tuesday that it has submitted plans to the N.C. Utilities Commission to build a 5-megawatt solar farm at 200 Potts Road in Advance.

The facility, to be known as Ray Wilson Solar LLC, would be one-tenth of a mile north of the intersection with N.C. 801. The property owners are Amy and Brady Bailey.

The parameters are the same as two other solar farms proposed for Davie by Headwaters.

The company plans to build a facility off Baltimore Road about a fifth of a mile south of the intersection with Beauchamp Road. It would be called Longleaf Pine Solar. The land would be leased from Blackwelder Investment Properties LLP.

The third facility would be about a half-mile south of the same intersection. It would be called Carolina Lily Solar. The land would be leased from Frank Orrell.

Each project has an estimated cost of $7.8 million. If the certificate is approved, they would each come online in September 2017. The electricity generated would be sold to Duke Energy Carolinas LLC.

Headwaters has developed or has in the planning stages more than 100 solar projects in North Carolina since 2009, including ones in Alamance, Rockingham and Yadkin counties, said Veronika Gunter, a partner in the company.

“When we meet with landowners, they typically like to go see solar farms that we have developed,” Gunter said. “Usually, when they see that the solar farms are discreetly situated off a side road, most landowners are agreeable to our use of their land.

“In many instances, the landowner would like to have some secure income for the life of the solar farm while keeping the land to pass down to future generations,” she said. In most instances, the lease is for 40 years.

Duke Energy said in May it had gained state regulatory approval to build a 15.4-megawatt solar farm on 110 acres at 197 Crawford Road between Mocksville and Cooleemee. Duke expects the facility to come online in late 2016.

Davie’s existing solar farm is a 6.4-megawatt site operated by Strata Solar LLC of Chapel Hill, where it is doing business as Mocksville Farm LLC at a 30-acre site off Eaton Road.

The electricity generated from the solar farms will help the Duke Energy meet North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency portfolio standard, which requires public utilities to have the equivalent of 6 percent of their retail sales generated by renewable-energy and energy-efficient sources this year. That requirement increases to 10 percent in 2018 and 12.5 percent in 2021.

Duke Energy operates or receives electricity from 35 solar farms in North Carolina representing a combined 500 megawatts, spokesman Randy Wheeless said.

The largest solar farm in the Triad and Northwest North Carolina is the 17-megawatt solar farm in Linwood in Davidson County.

Terry Bralley, president of the Davie Economic Development Commission, has said that “certainly reducing our carbon footprint is something most every company is engaged with daily as we all look for ways to be environmentally responsible.”

Two solar farms are under construction in Forsyth County.

The South Winston project is a 5-megawatt solar farm in Winston-Salem on the south side of West Clemmonsville Road, west of the intersection with Ebert Road.

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rcraver@wsjournal.com 336) 727-7376 @rcraverWSJ

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