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Benson approved for solar farm loan

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BENSON — Town officials have been approved for a nearly $2 ½ million loan from the State Water Infrastructure Authority, Gov. Roy Cooper announced last week.

Benson received approval for funding of a $2.497 million plan to install a solar panel farm at its wastewater treatment plant from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program.

The Benson Board of Commissioners was approached by the N.C. Clean Technology Center at N.C. State University regarding a possible solar farm at the location.

The project, if Benson commissioners give their approval, would encompass 1 ½ acres on property adjacent to the plant, with the goal to provide nearly all of the plant’s power needs. It would be done by charging a power supply ahead of the meter.

Officials with the center estimated the system could produce as much as 980,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year and reduce the demand on the town’s power system. They also estimated the project could provide around $58,000 per year in savings, accounting for an annual loan payment.

Town officials told The Daily Record of Dunn that the project still requires board approval, but commissioners did ask town staff to move forward with pursuing funding options for the project.

The state made $112 million available in loan funding for 26 drinking water and wastewater projects.