New Solar Panels Go Up On South Memorial Parkway

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – If you’ve drive on Huntsville’s South Memorial Parkway, you’ve probably noticed a new project taking shape in the last week.  Crews are installing a handful of solar panels.

Workers with Southern Solar Systems are installing the panels on the land that borders the northbound lanes between Charlotte Drive and Byrd Spring Road.  The panels should be operational by next week, according to Chris Shearburn, the company’s vice president.

Southern Solar Systems, a Huntsville-based company, is installing the solar panels for the landowner, who will sell the power they generate back to TVA as part of the Green Power Providers program.

“This area along the Parkway — this is one of the few things he can do on this land,” said Shearburn.  “It’s close to the Parkway and close to the railroad track, so this was an option for him.”

Shearburn said the panels will produce about 70,000 kilowatt hours of power a year, which breaks down to about $1,500 per month in revenue for the landowner.

The panels are positioned to face south, and this helps them pull in the most sunlight, Shearburn said.  His company has been in business since 2007 and has installed a number of systems in Tennessee, including several on top of poultry houses.

“In the last year or year and a half, the prices have dropped for solar panels, so the cost of building these is going down,” said Shearburn.

Shearburn said his company posted a notice about the installation to a nearby townhouse development on Byrd Spring Road.  He said a few homeowners have come over to ask questions about the project.