Three Western N.C. Solar Projects Receive $30 million in USDA Funding

Three Western N.C. Solar Projects Receive $30 million in USDA Funding
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May 06, 2015

Three North Carolina-based solar companies have received federal funding to help provide electricity for rural communities.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $72 million in funding for electric infrastructure projects with Montgomery Solar Owner, Chocowinity Solar and Cirrus Solar, all based in Cornelius, making up half of the receipients.

Montgomery Solar Owner, the largest of the three projects, will use the $20 million loan to build a 20 magawatt solar farm. Chocowinity Solar and Cirrus Solar are both receiving $5 million loans to build 5 magawatt solar farms. Between the three, 30 megawatts of power will be generated for rural North Carolina.

Broad River Electric Cooperative, which serves rural customers in North and South Carolina will receive an $18 million loan to build or improve 138 miles of line and other system improveemnts including about $347,400 for smart grid projects.

Other projects include a $17 million loan to Rolling Hills Electric Cooperative in Kanaas and a $7 million loan for Washington Electric Cooperative in Vermont.

In 2014 alone, USDA's Rural Utilities Service awarded $2.4 billion in electric loans. These loans helped 4.6 million rural residents receive improved electric service. The program has provided $1.1 billion for 18 renewable projects since 2008.