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Planning for Future Solar Farm Development in North Carolina: A Geographic Food Energy-Water Approach

Planning for Future Solar Farm Development in North Carolina: A Geographic Food Energy-Water... <p>abstract:</p><p>North Carolina (NC) is a large producer of utility-scale solar power and most of the photovoltaics are located on former agricultural lands (solar farms). In 2017 4% of NC power was generated by solar, but plans are in place for higher percentages, which could have consequences for food production and water quality. Geospatial data sets were used to characterize NC watersheds by solar farm development potential. Twenty-seven watersheds were identified as good candidates due to abundance of agricultural lands, presence of high-power transmission lines, and existence of agriculturally impaired waterbodies. These watersheds were somewhat distributed throughout the state, but especially focused in Union County, and 33% contain at least one solar farm. An energy generation model found that for the 27 targeted watersheds, only 2.6% of agricultural land would need to be converted to increase solar&apos;s energy portfolio to 5%; and 21.7% would need to be converted to increase it to 12.5%.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southeastern Geographer University of North Carolina Press

Planning for Future Solar Farm Development in North Carolina: A Geographic Food Energy-Water Approach

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers
ISSN
1549-6929

Abstract

<p>abstract:</p><p>North Carolina (NC) is a large producer of utility-scale solar power and most of the photovoltaics are located on former agricultural lands (solar farms). In 2017 4% of NC power was generated by solar, but plans are in place for higher percentages, which could have consequences for food production and water quality. Geospatial data sets were used to characterize NC watersheds by solar farm development potential. Twenty-seven watersheds were identified as good candidates due to abundance of agricultural lands, presence of high-power transmission lines, and existence of agriculturally impaired waterbodies. These watersheds were somewhat distributed throughout the state, but especially focused in Union County, and 33% contain at least one solar farm. An energy generation model found that for the 27 targeted watersheds, only 2.6% of agricultural land would need to be converted to increase solar&apos;s energy portfolio to 5%; and 21.7% would need to be converted to increase it to 12.5%.</p>

Journal

Southeastern GeographerUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 14, 2020

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