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BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. (AP) -- A solar energy project planned in eastern Buncombe County because of concerns about the amount of land that would have been needed.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported (http://avlne.ws/YyeUMx) the Ridgecrest Conference Center in Black Mountain announced it would not lease land to the New Mexico company that was going to build the project.

Ridgecrest executive director Byron Hill says the Southern Baptist conference center decided against the lease because more land was going to be required than initially indicated.

The initial plan called for about 8,500 solar panels on a dozen acres of land at the conference center, which covers 1,300 acres. But the complete plan called for more than 90,000 solar panels on 200 acres of land.

The company planned to sell the energy to Progress Energy Carolinas.

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