COVINGTON, Ga. –Representatives from Snapping Shoals EMC (SSEMC) helped “flip the switch” Wednesday, May 11 on a 68-megawatt solar project in Houston off Interstate 75 near Perry.
One of the most visible solar projects in the state, it was built by Green Power EMC.
Green Power EMC is the renewable energy provider for 38 member electric cooperatives in Georgia, including SSEMC and Silicon Ranch, which is one of the nation’s largest independent solar power producers. The Houston County facility is expected to provide enough power to serve 11,000 EMC customers.
Several state and local officials were on hand for a dedication event held Wednesday, including Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, members of the Georgia Public Service Commission.
“The Houston Solar Project further demonstrates Georgia EMC’s commitment to providing their consumers with cost-effective renewable energy that strives to meet the needs of a cleaner energy future,” Duncan said at the award ceremony. inauguration. “This site uses state-of-the-art technology to maximize its clean energy production, and the benefits are multiplied by creating jobs, stimulating economic development and providing significant tax revenue to the local government and school system for local residents. decades to come.”
SSEMC Board Members Millard Ross, Anthony Norton and Alfred Flanigan, and employees Keith Adams and Scott Fuss attended the event to celebrate the project and learn more about the positive benefits it will bring statewide.
Under the terms of a 30-year agreement with Silicon Ranch, Green Power EMC will purchase all power produced at the site on behalf of its member EMCs, while Silicon Ranch owns and operates the facility.
Matt Kisber, co-founder and president of Silicon Ranch, said Silicon Ranch has partnered with Green Power EMC to build about $1.5 billion in solar projects across Georgia, employing more than 5,000 workers.
As a clean energy source, the solar site’s environmental offset equates to approximately 124,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, SSEMC officials said. The Houston County Solar Site also co-locates renewable energy generation with regenerative agriculture practices on the same land, including land management using planned sheep grazing.
Green Power EMC is a non-profit cooperative founded in 2001 to support 38 of Georgia’s electric cooperatives in their search for renewable resources. SSEMC officials said Green Power EMC’s primary efforts have been to source, screen, analyze and negotiate power purchase agreements with Georgia-based renewable resource providers. In addition to renewable energy sourcing, Green Power EMC offers education programs that help member-consumers learn about both the challenges and opportunities of using renewable energy.
Snapping Shoals EMC is a Newton County-based co-operative that provides power to approximately 99,000 homes, businesses and other facilities in an eight-county area that includes large parts of Newton, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as parts of DeKalb, Butts, Walton, Jasper and Morgan counties.
Capitol Beat News Service contributed to this report.