JEFFERSONVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A second solar power company, First Solar, has decided to build a solar plant in Jeffersonville. The world renowned energy corporation has big plans for the small rural community–bringing millions of revenue dollars and hundreds of jobs along with it.
“We have been working and partnering with a company called First Solar and they announced today that they would be locating their next project here in Twiggs County,” said Economic Development Chair Judy Shurling.
That next project is a 2,000 acre solar energy plant–not the first solar plant in town, but the largest by far.
The first plant to come into Jeffersonville, owned by Dominion Energy based in Virginia, sits on about 200 acres of land. Now with First Solar’s plans to build a plant 10 times that size, city officials say they’re excited to see 10 times the economic impact on their small town.
“We’re expecting that the initial jobs are going to be 300 plus on the construction phase. We have a number of entrepreneurs in the trucking business that we think (are) going to play well for us,” said County Administrator Kelvin Lewis.
But Shurling says creating new job opportunities won’t be the only way business in town surges.
“It will also help our local businesses through the motels, the gas stations, the restaurants in that year and a few months that they will be under construction,” she explained.
Not to mention, the fact that this deal will bring in well over $100 million dollars in revenue for the county.
“I think what we’ve seen in other communities across the country is that when you have a large corporate presence to support your tax base, then the burden for citizens is reduced,” Lewis told 41NBC.
Solar energy as an industry is on the rise in Twiggs County.
“Solar projects tend to come to us. They have an ideal location that they have in mind and Twiggs County happens to be in that sweet spot,” Shurling said.
County officials couldn’t be anymore electrified about it. Lewis says once the initial construction jobs are done, there will still be job opportunities for residents in project managing and technical support roles.
Construction on the project is scheduled to begin later this year around November. The job should be completed by 2019.