New solar farm nearing completion to provide town of Bedford with renewable energy

Solar Farm in Bedford County nearing completion

BEDFORD, Va. (WSET) -- The Town of Bedford's first solar farm is almost finished. Solar panels will be providing renewable energy on a 16 acre plot of land in Bedford County. The farm is built by 02 EMC.

Bart Warner is the town manager of Bedford, "As the operator of our own electric utility were always looking for ways to expand our portfolio to include green energy sources", said Warner.

Warner said now the town doesn't have to rely on outside energy sources, "What it does do is help us to address those situations where we have tremendous demand on our system," said Warner.

State Senator Steve Newman is thrilled about the new source of clean energy, for the Town of Bedford, and the rate payers.

"The people of central Virginia have seen a rate increase for their power of over 50% in the last couple of years. that been tough on working families," said Newman.

This plant is connected to the town's electrical grid. The energy generated here will power homes, schools and business, "It's not one that's being forced on the people because its renewable, it's here cause it's cost effective," said Newman.

Joel Olsen is the CEO of 02 EMC which brought this solar plant here. He said the benefits will be long lasting, "Long term this will help to hedge against price fluctuations in fuel," said Olsen.

The jobs it has created for construction and maintenance have been mostly local. "More than 100 people from with in a 30 mile radius will have worked on this project," explained Olsen.

The plant will generate enough energy to power 500 homes.

The plant is expected to be running and providing energy the week after Thanksgiving.

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