Floyd County commissioners weighed out the possible benefits of a solar farm in the county after resident Bob Henderson brought the possibility to their Tuesday caucus meeting.
“Georgia Power has plenty of land in Floyd County and what I am suggesting is installing a solar farm to take up some of that land,” Henderson said.
He described the project as a way to create more jobs for people in the county both during and after construction. Henderson suggested the construction could be paid for with remaining fees from the recent millage rate raise and the county could use the Plant Hammond property to start as it already has a lot of the necessary infrastructure for building a solar farm.
“There are several different approaches you can take with building a solar farm,” he said. “I’m familiar with a private company coming in and building a solar farm... and they maintain it for a length of time at a fixed rate and by the end of it, they turn it over to the power company.”
Henderson said the industry is starting to grow and the county could put together a committee to begin looking into this project. As a benefit, a solar farm could also lower utility fees for county residents, he said.
County commissioners said they were very open to the idea and discussed the possibility of applying for grants for the project.
There is already a small solar farm at the Darlington School, according to Chair Scotty Hancock, but he wasn’t sure which company oversaw the construction.
County Manager Jamie McCord said they’ve explored the project in the past and agreed with many of Henderson’s points. The Walker Mountain Landfill is nearby the county’s electricity conductors and has multiple cells already filled in that could be used to install the panels.
“I don’t think this commission is opposed to solar farms at all, it’s time to get serious about it,” Hancock said.
McCord said there might be some obstacles but they will start looking into it more in the coming weeks with Special Projects Manager Bruce Ivey and the county’s Georgia Power representatives. He also invited Henderson to any upcoming meetings involving the solar farm.