Workshop on solar farming planned

By: Staff report

LAURINBURG — The Scotland County Cooperative Extension will hold an educational meeting on solar farming on Tuesday.

The free workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m at the Scotland County Cooperative Extension Office in the Courthouse annex building at- 231 East Cronly St.

Randy Wood, Scotland County Extension director, said the meeting will address some of the concerns surrounding the solar panel industry.

“With this new industry comes a host of questions,” Wood said. Are the panels harmful? Is there any radiation given off? What will happen to the fields in 20 years? How do I get a contract to build one on my land? These are just some of the questions that are being asked by concerned and curious citizens, as more of these solar farms are built.”

Wood said the meeting will try to explain the technology, construction, regulations, and economics of solar farms across the state. Attendees will learn about the various impacts of these systems on the community and the environment, he said. Steve Kalland, executive director, NC Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University will talk about common questions about solar panel toxicity, EMF/radiation, economic impacts, system decommissioning, and more.

He will also discuss the characteristics that make a site most suitable for solar production and provide an overview of solar land leases. There will be a question-and-answer session after the 50-minute presentation.

“In the last couple of years, a new type of farming has come to Scotland County,” Wood said. “Cotton, soybeans and corn fields have had to make room for a new way of living off the land. Solar panels have sprouted up all around the county in an effort to have a cleaner and more profitable way of producing energy.”

For information, call the Scotland County Cooperative Extension Office at 910-277-2422.

Staff report