COVINGTON — In an effort to provide a cleaner form of energy, Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corporation is taking part in one of Georgia’s largest solar energy projects to date.
Along with 26 other electric cooperatives throughout the state, Snapping Shoals will purchase a portion of the output of a planned solar project for a 25-year period through Green Power EMC. Established in 2001, Green Power is the first eco-friendly power provider in the state and is a renewable energy supplier for 38 Georgia Electric Membership Corporations, with its headquarters located in Tucker.
Construction on the solar project is scheduled to begin later this year in Hazelhurst. The Jeff Davis County town will be home to one of the largest solar generating facilities in Georgia, having the 20-megawatt project cover approximately 135 acres of land with more than 87,000 solar modules. Once construction is finished, the solar facility will be ready to produce electricity by the end of 2015.
Upon completion, the facility will generate more than 43,000 MW hours of clean renewable electricity each year. According to Snapping Shoals public relations specialist Leigh-Anne Burgess, approximately 500 kilowatts will be allocated to Snapping Shoals, which will be available at any given instance to the 95,000 homes it serves in Newton, Rockdale, Henry and DeKalb counties.
“The addition of one of the largest solar projects in Georgia to our power generation portfolio demonstrates our commitment to help develop the state’s renewable resources,” said Burgess in a released statement. “We are excited to be a part of this major expansion of solar energy in Georgia.”
Green Power decided to add more solar energy to its portfolio after receiving a request for proposals in late 2013. The project in Hazelhurst is expected to almost double the company’s total renewable capacity, going from 32 MW to about 52 MW.
Silicon Ranch Corporation, one of the nation’s top 15 solar owner-operators based in Nashville, will be constructing the project. Along with providing customized solar solutions to its customers, Silicon Ranch owns and operates Georgia’s largest solar farm, located in Social Circle.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Green Power EMC and their members in deploying their first, large-scale solar array,” said Silicon Ranch President Matt Kisber. “I commend the leadership and membership of Green Power EMC for creating this initiative to provide competitively priced, renewable power solar generation to their Georgia membership.”