TerraSmart Helps North Carolina Power the Internet

When big tech companies like Google and Facebook chose North Carolina for their data centers, the state’s renewable energy resources were a key attraction. With huge, 24/7 power demands, those data centers now are among the largest utility customers in the state. And solar is right there to keep those gigabits moving; with 2,436 megawatts of solar capacity, North Carolina ranks third in the U.S., far outpacing other states in the Southeast.

To help conform with laws requiring that 12.5 percent of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2020, utilities like Duke Energy are rapidly adding solar and wind facilities. In 2016, Duke bought the Gaston project, built by TerraSmart, to add 7.1 megawatts to its existing 450-megawatt solar capacity.

TerraSmart expedited construction on the project site’s steep, undulating terrain with its new TF2 flexible racking system, built on years of success managing grade tolerances up to 36 percent. Thanks to its innovative racks and terrain expertise, TerraSmart was able to reduce installation time 35 percent to get the Gaston farm generating clean energy quickly.  Now Gaston joins 35 other utility-scale solar plants in North Carolina powering Facebook fans and Google searches nationwide.


Location:  Gaston, NC
Status: Completed July 2015
DC System Size: 7.1 MW
Type of Rack: Fixed-Tilt Ground Mount
# of Ground Screws: 2,628
# of TerraSmart Tables:  657
# Modules:  22,610
Module Manufacturer: Jinko

Design Specification

Wind Load: 95 MPH
Snow Load: 15 PSF
Exposure Category: C
Tilt Angle:  25
Distance from Grade: 18 in.
Soil Type: Undulating terrain, steep slopes

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