Ground will break for a new five-acre solar farm on the Darlington School campus in early July. The project, developed by Atlanta-based Inman Solar, will provide power to the local grid by way of a 900-kilowatt array consisting of 2,813 modules on tilted panels.

The project was spearheaded by ELA-8 science teacher Randy Smith, who began to take a closer look at alternative energy sources upon becoming a recipient of Darlington’s Wood Faculty Professional Development Endowment Award.

The permanent structure will be housed in a field off of Cave Spring Road adjacent to Hopewell Street. The land sits in a flood plain and is not suitable for a traditional school building.

The 900,000-watt installation will produce about 100 million kilowatt hours per year. The amount of electricity generated is going to lead to a local reduction of approximately 930 tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is the equivalent of removing 160 automobiles off of the road, conserving 756,000 gallons of water, or saving over 250 trees. It will also have the ability to power up to 200 residential properties in the area for an entire year.