Thursday, May 5, 2016

DEQ secretary makes science-based decision to discontinue SolarBee project

May 5, 2016

The state environmental department announced today it will discontinue the SolarBee project after 21 months of data indicated no significant improvement in water quality.

A preliminary assessment released in October 2015 was conducted using data from the first 13 months of the demonstration project and historical data. Secretary van der Vaart requested that staff evaluate the most recent data collected from October 2015 through April 2016 and make a recommendation on how to proceed.

“I appreciate the work our staff has done over the last two years to evaluate the potential of the SolarBee technology to improve water quality at Jordan Lake,” said Donald R. van der Vaart, secretary of the state environmental agency. “I’m discontinuing the SolarBee project after reviewing nearly two years of scientific data that show it will not yield the intended results.”

As DEQ works with the General Assembly to wind down the project, the agency will recommend that the state continue to evaluate nutrient management strategies. N.C. Division of Water Resources staff will present the latest SolarBee data and recommendation to the Environmental Management Commission’s Water Quality Committee on May 11.  Click here to review the most recent SolarBee data.