The home shopping network that sells just about everything is now selling solar energy generated by North Carolina sunshine.
QVC is operating the state's largest solar energy farm at its distribution facility near Rocky Mount. The QVC solar project is selling the electricity it generates to N.C. Electric Cooperatives, the Raleigh organization that supplies power in the state's smaller towns and rural areas.
The 1 megawatt solar farm generates electricity for about 150 homes. It operates only when the sun is shining, an average of about six hours a day.
QVC proposed the solar farm this year to its utility, Edgecombe-Martin County Electric Membership Corp., a cooperative that serves more than 11,000 customers east of Raleigh. That local cooperative then passed the proposal on to the umbrella group in Raleigh to discuss terms.
The timing was good, because the electric cooperatives are required by a 2007 state law to develop efficient energy as well as solar power and other renewables. Co-ops in the state serve a total of 923,000 electricity customers in 93 counties, including Wake, Chatham and Orange.
"We're looking at various sizes of solar farms and other technologies," said Bob Goodson, an executive with the electric co-ops.
The solar farm is on the grounds of QVC's 1.5-million-square-foot regional distribution center, which employs about 1,300 people.
QVC's photovoltaic project is quipped with a global positioning system that mechanically tracks the sun throughout the day and rotates the assembly for maximum sun exposure.
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