Duke Energy is working on its final phase of a solar project at Mount Sterling, removing utility poles and overhead power lines along a 3.5-mile corridor from the park boundary at Mt. Sterling Road to the Mt. Sterling Fire Lookout Tower. Work is expected to be complete Nov. 30.
The power line is no longer needed due to the installation of a microgrid solar and battery facility that Duke Energy installed in 2017 to provide electrical power for park radio equipment at the Mt. Sterling Fire Lookout Tower. The radio equipment is a vital component of the park’s emergency communications system. The overhead line has been decommissioned and the corridor below it will return to its natural state. Work crews will use chainsaws, off-road utility vehicles and horses to remove the equipment. The areas will remain open but temporary restrictions are possible to ensure hiker safety.