Western North Carolina Solar Projects
Development of several 1-MW solar facilities
Interfacing with federal and state agencies
Phase I ESA, NEPA evaluation, Cultural Resource Assessment
The Western North Carolina Solar Projects are located in Cherokee County and Clay County. Each of the seven project sites consist of a 1 MW solar farm. What started as five solar sites being developed ultimately became seven, as two additional sites were added to the scope of the project.
Tasks required for the Projects included a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reports which encompassed environmental; cultural; water resources and hydrologic; and socioeconomic studies, as well as coordination with local, state (NC Office of State Archaeology (OSA), State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPO) , NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Federal agencies (NHP, USFWS).
Additional responsibilities for the projects included a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) which required the identification of potential impacts to surface water, groundwater, and soils within the project boundary, evaluation of historical documents for potential impacts to the environment from previous site conditions, interviews with personnel to obtain any pertinent information regarding potential environmental impacts in connection with the site, evaluation of potential on-site and off-site contamination, and submit professional opinion with regard to the potential for environmental impact at the site.
ERP completed a Phase I Cultural Resources Assessment for each of the sites, which revealed archaeological sites potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places at two of the proposed sites. By avoiding the archaeologically sensitive areas, both projects were able to proceed.