600-acre solar farm bound for Anderson.

Within months, the first few signs of a county-backed solar farm are set to crop up along 600-acres of farmland along Highway 178.

"It's going to be a big solar operation," Burriss Nelson, director of Anderson County Economic Development, told GSA Business Report following an April 3 Anderson County Council meeting where council members unanimously passed an amendment to a fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreement with Anderson Solar Farm LLC.

Despite 25 acres cut out of the new amendment, Anderson Solar Farm LLC committed to the original $2.7 million to be invested in the site, and Nelson expects the site's owner, Hartwell Solar, to launch construction this summer.

"There are bigger farms than that already in South Carolina; there are some in lower parts of the state that are 3,000 acres," he said, but as far as Anderson County goes, the 600-acre farm is the largest by far.

Hartwell Solar's Anderson operation will far outpace Furman University's six-acre, 743-kilowatt farm, the only Upstate site listed in Charleston Solar Co. Southern Current's list of South Carolina's largest farms.

Once complete, the farm will be able to power an estimated 900 houses, Nelson said.

The property, adjacent to 2325 Six and Twenty Road, according to Anderson County property records, has long been in Hartwell Solar's searchlight.

Two years ago, the company negotiated a lease agreement with the Mullikin family estate, commencing the song and dance of grafting any new energy source to the existing power grid.

That means leveling out all engineering and design plans with the overseeing utility, such as Duke Energy, which owns property adjacent to the proposed farm, according to Anderson County property records.

"It's a pretty intense negotiation," Nelson said. "That takes...

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