Misenheimer Solar Park construction wraps

The project has the equivalent energy to power more than 12,000 NC homes

Misenheimer Solar Park (EDP Renewables North America LLC)

MISENHEIMER — Stanly County is home to one of the largest solar projects in the state of North Carolina.

On April 25, EDP Renewables North America LLC (EDPR NA) announced that it has completed the one-year construction process for the 500-acre Misenheimer Solar Park, situated about a half-mile west of Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer.

With around 200,000 panels and an installed generating capacity of 74 megawatts, Stanly County’s new renewable energy park is designed to generate enough energy annually to power the equivalent of over 12,000 homes in the state while also providing direct benefits to the surrounding communities.

The solar panels absorb and convert sunlight into electricity, interacting with the electrical grid through a substation after being converted to the proper voltage and sold to Duke Energy.

“The fully operational Misenheimer Solar Park is a success that can be attributed to the strong partnership and collaboration between EDPR NA’s team and the communities of the village of Misenheimer and Stanly County who worked together to make this project a reality,” Sandhya Ganapathy, CEO of EDPR NA, said in a company press release.

The Houston-based company acquired the new utility-scale renewable energy project in 2020 from Orion Power Generation LLC — which had already started negotiations with the local landowner — marking EDPR NA’s first solar project in North Carolina.

“Our mutual dedication and commitment to the community was the primary driver for its success, and we see this as the beginning of a journey, united together, to power North Carolina with affordable clean energy,” Ganapathy added.

Now spanning over 18 states, EDPR NA is the fourth-largest renewable energy producer in the world. It operates 60 wind farms, 10 solar parks, and eight regional offices across North America. It has plans to add another 5.7 gigawatts of renewable energy generation to the grid over the next three years.

A group of five local landowners will receive over $27 million for their participation in the project, while an additional estimated $3.5 million will be directed to local governments for schools, roads, public transportation and other services.

The project will also create local jobs and long-term employment opportunities, beginning with the already-designated construction roles and culminating into the operations phase. Additionally, millions of dollars of additional investment are also expected to go to local Stanly County restaurants, hotels and stores.

Partnering with the local community for the Misenheimer Solar Park, EDPR NA collaborated with Pfeiffer University to host a student vote for the solar park’s official logo. The university also teamed up with EDPR NA to host an educational open house event prior to construction, explaining the company’s renewable energy technology to stakeholders throughout the county.

EDPR NA estimates that the project will save more than 93 million gallons of water annually compared to conventional energy sources, helping to prevent air pollution and environmental concerns such as smog and acid rain.