A solar farm could be in the works for two large sites on Spartanburg's south side, S.C. Rep. Harold Mitchell said.
Mitchell confirmed talks are underway among various parties for a solar farm on the 40-acre site of the former IMC fertilizer plant and possibly, the 30-acre, city-owned Arkwright dump site. The city spent about $5.6 million to cap the former landfill — a process that was completed in 2012. Since the site was formerly used as a dump, the city would have to get state approval before developing the property in the future. In the past, city officials have said the site has very restricted uses.
Mitchell told a handful of people gathered at C.C. Woodson Community Center Thursday for an EPA public hearing that a solar farm could be an option for properties, which he said were too large for a single public entity, such as Spartanburg County, to maintain alone.
Mitchell mentioned the solar farm in response to a constituent question on the future of the former fertilizer plant site. South side residents who live near the former fertilizer site have worried another large industry could come back into their neighborhood. An EPA official said deed restrictions would be placed on the property.
"We've been working with the city, Duke Energy and a solar company to try to see whether (a solar farm) would be feasible here," Mitchell said. "There is potential for reuse, and it's something worth exploring."
Mitchell said the discussions are in the preliminary stages, but the argument to bring a solar farm to the south side is bolstered by the S.C. House of Representatives recent passage of a solar energy bill that had the support of utility providers.
City of Spartanburg Communications Manager Will Rothschild said the city is always interested in exploring options for the former Arkwright landfill property. The site of the former fertilizer plant is outside the city limits.
"We're always interested in any possibilities for that site, and we're open to exploring options," Rothschild said.