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Solar farm boosts Beaufort County economy

By Tori Shaw
Published On: Jan 09 2013 03:56:20 PM CST
BEAUFORT COUNTY -

The oldest town in North Carolina is home to the newest solar farm.  It is being planted next to the cotton fields of Beaufort County near the community of Bath.  It's a 40 million dollar project that is using the sun to help produce energy.

"Solar power does a really good job of holding down peak demand costs which means energy costs overall," said Shawn LeMond, CEO of Sustainable Energy Community Development Company.

Most of the employees you are locally hired.  According to LeMond, the number of jobs in renewable energy has a sunny outlook.

"North Carolina in 2007 had less than 4,000 jobs in renewable energy, and now there's more then 15,000," said LeMond.

The White Post Project is the first site being built in Eastern North Carolina.  Nine other sites are being considered for future development around the state which means more local jobs and more customers for local businesses.

Dal Boyd owns the Old Town Country Kitchen, local restaurant  less than five miles from the construction site. 

"Business probably picked up 70 percent.  In this time of year, it is great because business drops quite a bit during this time of year," said Boyd.

Twenty million dollars is expected to be invested into Beaufort County which brightens up the local economy.