High Country Association of REALTORS News

The power of the sun now harnessed in Avery County

The High Country is home to several green energy initiatives. The latest went online last week, a 6-acre large-scale solar project located on a Christmas tree farm in Avery County. Constructed by O2 Energies, it is expected to provide enough power to supply at least 120 homes.

Almost two dozen local people were hired by the panel installation company and officials say many have found permanent jobs in the industry as a result. ...

The electricity produced goes directly into the power grid. Officials say it will supplement power that Mountain Electricity buys from other providers and will eventually make a profit for the energy company that owns the solar farm, O2 Energies.

The advantage, say experts, is that after the initial investment, which in this case was in the millions of dollars, the cost to maintain the facility is minimal.

The panels could provide electricity for as long as 40 years.