Solar energy project moves forward

Published 9:02 am Tuesday, January 11, 2011

510nano, Inc. has plans to build a solar energy farm near Gaston in Northampton County. The company recently signed a Power Purchase Agreement with Dominion.

GASTON — The solar energy farm project planned near here is moving forward.

Recently, 510nano, Inc., signed a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement with Dominion NC Power.

The Washington D.C.-based renewable energy provider signed the agreement with Dominion NC Power on December 27 for a 1.4 megawatt photovoltaic solar farm located near Gaston.

In June, 510nano entered into an agreement with Northampton County to purchase a 25-acre portion of the Northampton Commerce Park on Lebanon Church Road, just west of Interstate 95, for $210,000. At the beginning of December, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners extended the option to purchase agreement for the company for six months.

According to a press release from 510nano, the company and its partners will construct and operate the solar farm, named 510 REPP (Renewable Energy Power Plant) One, on seven acres of land.

“510nano will own and operate 510 REPP One, and sell the entire electrical output to Dominion,” said Project Director Valjeanne Estes. “We estimate that the farm will generate over 1.8 million kilowatt-hours annually of renewable electricity, meeting the yearly energy needs of up to 160 households.”

The project anticipates providing over 30 construction and permanent jobs. Construction is expected to start by March.

“510 REPP One is the company’s first installation in North Carolina,” said Dr. Reginald Parker, President of 510nano.  “North Carolina has several geographic and regulatory advantages that make it an attractive place for us to develop renewable energy power plants.”

Parker added the company is looking forward to its future in Northampton County.

“We are excited about the opportunity to build roots in Northampton County, and have enjoyed a partnership with the County Executive and Commissioners that has been highly supportive of this effort,” he said.