National Solar Power has announced that seven counties in three states "are in serious contention" to be chosen as the site of the huge project. They are: Gadsden, Hardee, Osceola and Suwannee in Florida; Sumter and Tatnall in Georgia; and North Carolinas Guilford County. A final decision is expected within the next month.
The criteria laid out by the company for the site of its solar project include finding adequate areas of undeveloped land, receiving enough business, government and community support, and qualified workers, and appropriate economic development and tax incentives.
The 400 MW photovoltaic project is expected to be comprised of 20 20 MW solar farms, which will each be spread across 200 acres. National Solar Power says the generated energy will be enough to power around 32,000 homes.
Each farm is said to represent a USD$70 million investment. "When construction of the solar farm is complete in six years, it will represent a nearly $1.5 billion investment in the winning community," said National Solar Power in a statement.
The company added that the first solar farm will be operational within six months of work commencing. Hensel Phelps Construction Co. will design, build and operate all of the plants.
Furthermore, there is the potential to create up to 400 jobs over the projects five year construction period, and 120 permanent jobs.
Overall, National Solar Power says it has entered into power supply agreements for more than 3,000 megawatts of solar farms in the southeastern U.S.
Currently, the world’s largest photovoltaic plant is located in Ontario, Canada.