Kentuck Solar Farm is open for business in Pittsylvania County

Published: May. 23, 2018 at 5:50 PM EDT
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Danville and Pittsylvania County's first solar farm is open for business.

The Kentuck Solar Farm in Ringgold sits on 76 acres and will account for more than one percent of the power needs of Danville Utilities.

The 23,000 solar panels will provide power to over 1,000 homes in the Kentuck area, but they will benefit all customers of Danville Utilities.

The new Kentuck Solar farm has been in the works for three years.

The facility breaks records as Virginia's largest municipal utility solar project.

Danville Utilities Director, Jason Grey, says the utility company has a number of different energy resources they get power from.

"This resource will be blended in to that overall rate. Granted, 6 megawatts is only about 1.5% but that's locally generated power," says Grey.

Danville Utilities will buy power from the Kentuck Solar Farm, which is owned by WGL Energy, for the next 25 years.

Grey says it will save millions of dollars in energy costs.

"As costs increase, transmission costs and capacity costs increase, this is a very stable source of supply," he says.

Danville and Pittsylvania County leaders say the farm is a step in the right direction for energy efficiency.

"We no longer have to carry a carbon footprint, if you please, by way of solar energy, a far more efficient energy source. We are now dusting off our feet to embrace a modern solution for our environment," says Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors member, Joe Davis.

The panels themselves track with the sun, so they have full capacity during the day.

"It has a lot of technology built into the system, so if there's any weather events or high wind, the panels flatten out so they're not damaged," says Grey.

Grey says the future with solar is bright and there's a possibility for even more solar farms in the future.

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