MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Twiggs County will soon be home to one of the largest solar panel projects, east of the Mississippi River. First Solar and Origis Energy are bringing clean, renewable energy to the Peach State.
“We really are proud of this. It is going to be more green energy in Georgia, not just in Twiggs County,” Twiggs County Commissioner Virginia Villatoro said.
The field of trees and shrubs you can see driving near Highway 23 and Calvary Church Road doesn’t look like much, but in 14 months the area will be the biggest solar panel project in Georgia.
“We utilize communities, such as Twiggs County, that have an abundance of land and a need for job growth and job creation,” Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tricia Pridemore said.
Johan Vanhee with Origis Energy says the larger the solar plant, the lower the cost for energy for customers. He says it makes solar energy not only cleaner, but cheaper in the long run.
“We needed to make sure that we can provide to the Georgia rate payers, Georgia energy consumers, people of Georgia, [that] we can produce energy that makes economic sense. Meaning, that there’s a downward pressure on the energy prices in Georgia,” Vanhee said.
The solar project will shine light on part of a solution for one of the issues rural Georgia faces.
“It means jobs and opportunity for the county. Never mind the initial construction jobs to build the second largest solar farm east of the Mississippi, but it’s also ongoing jobs for people to maintain the work,” Pridemore said.
Pridemore says the project will be a tax benefit for Twiggs. It will help the county improve its schools, roads, and continue making it a place where people will want to stay.