A new solar installation will be going up in the next few months in Polk County, joining its sister location right across the street on Highway 101. The facility soon to be built by Hecate Energy will be going up on land owned by the Lewis family, who got unanimous approval last week for a Special Land Use permit from the county commission.
A new agreement to purchase solar power from a facility in Hazlehurst, along with other recent solar expansions, has increased Cobb EMC’s solar portfolio by 270 percent over last year, the electric cooperative reported this week.
Hazlehurst Phase II includes more than 630,000 solar panels that track the sun on its daily east-west pathway across the sky, resulting in an increase in energy production capability over fixed-base technology. The Phase II solar facility will provide enough low-cost, renewable power to help serve more than 8,500 EMC households annually.
While progress at Georgia Power’s expansion at Plant Vogtle remains foggy, progress in other areas are much clearer. The Georgia utility provider earned a top five ranking from the Smart Electric Power Alliance this week for the solar power capacity it added to the energy grid in 2016. Of the 412 American utilities in the group’s consideration, Georgia Power earned a 5th place listing, improving on its 10th place finish the year before.
Georgia’s many faith communities honor God by making choices that protect his creation for current and future generations. For an increasing number, that means embracing solar as a clean source of the most basic commodity we consume each day: electricity. Unfortunately in some Georgia communities it’s getting harder to make this moral choice. Because local utilities feel threatened by solar’s emergence as a viable choice for their customers, some are imposing fees that penalize homes, businesses and churches for investing in solar.
Solar energy is about to go mobile. And farmers are about to have a lot more flexibility in how they power their seasonal equipment. It is power when you need it for the farm community. A new prototype called ‘The Unit’ is about to make its first public appearance at the 2017 Vidalia Onion Festival. The Unit was created to tackle several challenges faced by the agriculture industry.
Just like the sun, Georgia’s solar jobs are rising by the day. Georgia now has nearly 4,000 employees working in solar. That’s a 23 percent hike from 2015, according to the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes solar energy. These workers have a variety of jobs ranging from installation of solar panels to design of new products.
Georgia is adding solar energy faster than almost any state in the nation, according to an industry trade group, and there’s more coming. Now lawmakers are considering forgiving a fee for folks who want to install solar power on protected land, while another bill aims to address what some see as a bit of a cloud on solar’s horizon. Across Georgia in 2015, there were enough solar panels installed to generate 409 megawatts of power, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group. By 2016, that number was up to 1,432 megawatts of installed solar capacity, which made Georgia the third-fastest state for growth in solar, according to the group. They estimate some 162,000 homes in the state are powered by solar. Signs are that there’s more coming.
The sun is shining on the Peach State. Georgia is the third fastest-growing generator of solar power in the United States and the eighth-largest producer of solar energy, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Mascot Pecan Shelling Co. installed a solar array system in Glennville, Georgia, an investment of more than $2.5 million that is projected to pay for itself in power bill savings and incentives in four to seven years.