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Largest solar power plant in Southeast to be built in Middle Georgia

Tour a Solar Power farm from the air

Four separate solar farms cover about 2,000 acres in Taylor County. The largest, on about 900 acres, will provide 146 megawatts of electricity to be distributed to five electric membership corporations. Video by Kenneth Gray.
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Four separate solar farms cover about 2,000 acres in Taylor County. The largest, on about 900 acres, will provide 146 megawatts of electricity to be distributed to five electric membership corporations. Video by Kenneth Gray.

The largest standalone solar facility in the Southeast is planned on 2,000 acres in Twiggs County near Warner Robins.

Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar Inc. announced Wednesday it would develop and construct a 200-megawatt solar power plant on land near Warner Robins, according to a news release.

The impact of the project "is in the hundreds of millions," said Judy Sherling, executive director for the Development Authority of the city of Jeffersonville and Twiggs County.

The project is expected to create 300-400 jobs during construction and to generate ongoing tax revenues. The project is already in the development phase under a power purchase agreement with Georgia Power for the electricity and renewable attributes generated by the facility. Construction is expected to begin in November and to be completed in late 2019.

The power plant is expected to generate more than 450 gigawatt hours of electricity annually.

“Georgia Power’s significant commitment to renewable energy, paired with Twiggs County’s strong leadership and supportive business environment, combine to serve as a great example of how solar can be seamlessly included in the region’s energy mix," Kathryn Arbeit, vice president of project development, said in the release.

It will be the largest infrastructure project in Twiggs County.

"I think the significance is it shows that Twiggs County is ready to negotiate larger projects," Sherling said. "We have the leadership team in place to handle any project that comes along. ... This investment in our county is going to ... add a tremendous amount to our overall tax digest and tax base."

The exact location of the proposed facility cannot be disclosed yet because negotiations have not been completed, she said,

“We look forward to collaborating with our new partners on the biggest solar project in the state that will bring much needed jobs and economic benefits to the Geographic Center of Georgia,” Ken Fowler, chairman of the Twiggs County Commission, said in the release.

Retired engineer Bruce Duckett shares his experience with the simplicity of having solar panels installed and generating about one-third of his power needs, cutting his electrical bill by that much. He financed them with no money down, federal tax

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