Article by Natalia Maikranz
Twiggs County Georgia is building a 2,000-acre solar plant that will become the largest of its kind in the Southeast. The leading American solar company, First Solar announced last week that they will be building a 200 megawatt energy plant as part of a 525 megawatt Request for Proposals by Georgia Power’s Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI). The inception of the project started in 2016 when Southern Company subsidiary, Georgia Power requested approval from Georgia regulators to procure more renewable energy for the state. Participants in REDI are given hourly renewable energy credits for up to 20 megawatts of renewable resource procured through the program. This is an initiative created by Georgia as a way to incorporate more renewable energy into the state’s industry. The solar panel farm is the largest initiative sponsored by REDI in the state to create more renewable energy projects.
First Solar’s project is in the advanced development stages and is expected to start construction in November of 2018 and will be completed in late 2019. The Solar farm is predicted to generate around 400 jobs for the region including construction, trucking, infrastructure, and entrepreneurship opportunities. This will be the largest infrastructure project for Twiggs County. Upon completion, the the project will have over half a million First Solar thin-film solar modules and is expected to produce 450 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year. The power plant is predicted to supply 30,000 Georgian homes with electricity upon completion. Twiggs County is very excited about this initiative as it will help the job market, economy, and overall wellbeing of the small county and its citizens in Georgia.
A solar panel farm in the area helps create cost-effective competitive solar energy as part of a diverse energy resource market. This is a great opportunity for renewable energy to expand into the southeast and further develop green energy around the continental United States. The REDI program and First Solar are committed to changing the energy markets in America. With a renewable energy initiative in Georgia of this size, the state is preparing for the future of renewable energy in the United States. For Twiggs County, the solar panel project is a chance to expand their infrastructure possibilities, showing that small counties around the country can create new jobs and green energy close to home.
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