The addition of Geenex Solar, along with its Solar Center of Excellence, to Halifax County’s industry list is promising new jobs and education for interested residents. Company CEO 31-year-old Georg Veit said Geenex is in the process of converting the former Roanoke Rapids Airport into a 252-acre solar farm with an education and training facility called the Solar Center of Excellence.
Veit said the solar power generation site will utilize one of the most reliable systems in the industry and sell the energy it produces to Dominion Power, but he sees this site being so much more than just for power generation.
He said he feels in the embodiment of the former airport site there was a time when it was vital to the area, and he looks forward to that being the case again.
He said he looks forward to a time when it becomes a vital part of community life, and brings visitors from across the nation.
“It’s a many fold type of center,” he said. “We want it to bring people there. We want it to be part of the community, a place to do something, maybe wander around and meet people and talk about what’s going on in the world.” He said the Solar Center will have a life of its own and it will be the driver for future development in Halifax County and beyond.
Sustainable curriculums will be developed there and it will be a place where trainees will get hands-on experience in a safe environment. He said this will be accomplished through partnerships with local schools, the community college and state universities.
From the operations base at the Center, he said people will be able to monitor solar facilities in places across the country. Veit said in order for that to happen, solar energy has to make sense to people, and they need to understand why these shifts are happening.
He said that’s why the Center of Excellence will also house a place for visitors to see displays on how solar energy works. He said his company plans to expand and will develop other partnerships throughout the United States, but the Halifax County site will be at the core of Geenex operations.
“This will be the heart,” he said, adding his company has intentions of being a quality neighbor in the community.