Tuesday, June 28, 2011

World's largest solar farm? In Georgia? You're kidding, right?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 3:35 PM

No, says the Atlanta Business Chronicle's Urvaksh Karkaria! Just a few weeks after a private firm announced its plans for a $75 million, 30-MW solar facility in Henry County, word is spreading that Georgia's in the race to become the site of an even larger project. Karkaria reports:

National Solar Power plans to establish a 400-megawatt solar project capable of providing enough renewable energy to power roughly 32,000 homes.

The project is made up of 20 related 200-acre solar farms, with each generating more than 20-megawatts of renewable energy. Currently, the world’s largest solar power plant is an 80-megawatt solar project in Ontario, Canada, according to a statement.

National Solar Power, a three-year-old company, has entered into power supply agreements for more than 3,000 megawatts of solar farms in the Southeastern United States.

In addition to Sumter and Tatnall counties in Georgia, National Solar is considering four sites in Florida and one in North Carolina.

Karkaria has more details about what the firm's looking for in a suitable site. (Yes, tax incentives are part of the equation.) Each of the 20 sites would require roughly $70 million in investment, he says.

Should the project decide to locate in Georgia, it'd be quite an accomplishment for the state's solar industry, which has somehow managed to make major inroads with little attention from state officials. A Public Service Commissioner only recently called for Georgia Power to invest more in the clean-energy technology. Georgia Power, in response, agreed to purchase 50 MW of solar power from independent power providers. Hell, the fact it's even under consideration says something.

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