Solar Thin reached lease agreements with a new local company, Tri-State Solar/Wind Energy LLC, formed by Carl N. Graybeal, a former coal operator and Summersville businessman. Graybeal could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
According to Solar Thin, Graybeal owns the property where the three photo-voltaic, or PV, solar fields would be built. PV is a method of generating electricity by converting solar radiation using solar panels composed of solar cells.
The plans call for one 15-megawatt site off Wolf Creek Road near Fayetteville, and 10-megawatt fields in Sam Black Church and Alderson, both in Greenbrier County.
A news release said some ground clearing on the first site was to begin this month, with all three fields expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2014. A later announcement said installation work would begin before the end of 2013, with all three sites finished within 18 months.
Solar Thin Films calls itself "an environmentally conscious company" that works to bring new products to market. It focuses on "fiber reinforced plastics," as well as solar energy and waste-to-energy.
So far, Solano said, his company is still trying to obtain agreements for local utilities to purchase electricity generated by the solar fields.
Solano said the initial announcement of the West Virginia project has prompted landowners to inquire of his firm about at least six other potential solar sites in West Virginia.
"There is actually quite a bit of response to putting up more solar," Solano said. "Coal's going by the wayside. This is a really great project. We're excited about getting it done."
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.