Construction begins on solar farms to bring more clean energy to Danville and Pittsylvania County

Working is being down to get the ground ready at the old Ringgold Golf Course.
Working is being down to get the ground ready at the old Ringgold Golf Course.(WDBJ)
Published: Dec. 18, 2019 at 6:37 PM EST
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Construction crews are working to build solar farms at three locations in Pittsylvania County that will bring more clean energy to Danville Utilities customers.

"These solar farms directly connect into our distribution system, so it's a low-cost plot of energy that is right next to where our customers are located," said Jason Gray, Danville Utilities Director.

The solar farm in Ringgold will create energy for customers in eastern Pittsylvania County and Danville, while the Irish Road and Whitmell solar farms will power the northern part of the Danville Utility's service area.

"The main goal is to always have the lowest cost of supply, and solar is certainly a lower cost," said Gray.

However, the lower cost in supply might not lead directly to a lower power bill for Danville Utility customers, as the solar farms will offset the rising cost of power transmission.

"We see cost increase in other parts of the electric industry; our goal is to stabilize our rate structure and hopefully over time lower rates," said Gray.

Even though the clean and renewable energy standards are already being met by the company with hydropower and the Dan River solar farm, Gray says these projects put them ahead of the curve in the push for clean energy.

Once the projects are completed in summer 2020, about nine percent of the company's power will come from solar energy.

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