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Duke energy receives positive feedback from neighbors on proposed solar facility

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 10:23 PM EDT
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HIGH SPRINGS, Fla. (WCJB) - Proposed solar plants have caused controversy in some parts of North Central Florida but some residents of High Springs are looking forward to a duke energy solar facility that may be right outside their door.

“This is where I live,” resident Joseph Arndt said as he pointed in front of the new solar facility location which is right outside his property.

The Duke Energy powered facility is expected to help the environment, according to the spokesperson Ana Gibbs.

“One of the greatest things about solar power plants is that it doesn’t require fuel,” Gibbs said.

While the solar panels will power about 23,000 homes and Gibbs said it will also save duke energy customers some money.

“A 75 megawatt power plant actually costs 50 cents per thousand kilowatt an hour for our community members and our customers,” Gibbs said.

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She said the 650 acre project near Northwest 174 St. in High Springs should be finished by January 2023. It would look like a facility in Fort White.

They claim it will eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from more than 28,000 cars.

Arndt said he has always had a passion for the environment and he would much rather see a development come to his area that will help the environment opposed to hurting it.

Development is going to happen pretty much everywhere eventually,” Arndt said. “So, if there is going to be development, i would much rather it be something low impact like green energy opposed to condominiums.”

Gibbs said for residents who may be concerned during the construction phase, buffers will be around the area.

“Sometimes you can’t even see the solar plant because we put a buffer in the area,” Gibbs said.

Arndt said he and most of his neighbors actually use clay electric so they won’t benefit, but they aren’t against the new plant.

“The few people in my area that have mentioned it to me have all been pretty positive about it,” Arndt added. “Mostly people are interested in what kind of development is happening.”

Gibbs said the development is expected to begin April 2022.

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