Solar facility continues to gain attention in Decatur County

Solar facility continues to gain attention in Decatur County
Solar facility continues to gain attention in Decatur County
Posted at 4:37 PM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 16:37:00-04

DECATUR COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) - Although this summer has seen its fair share of stormy afternoons, south Georgia typically sees a lot of sunshine.

If you've ever driven along Highway 27 toward Colquitt, you've likely driven past the Decatur County Solar Farm, which is about 1,000 acres with 1.2 million solar panels. Of course, solar power is good for the environment, but the county also sees a tax benefit.

"All the equipment out here is taxable property, so they're more than twice as large as the number two taxpayer in the county, and all they're doing is using our sunshine, so it's really a good deal," said Rick McCaskill, Executive Director of Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County.

This solar farm is large enough to power about 28,000 homes, and all that power has to go somewhere.

"What this size facility does is it actually puts the power back on the grid, just like a hydroplant, or a coal powered plant, or any other kind of electric producing facility," said McCaskill. "The power that goes in the transmission lines, this is just part of it."

The solar plant isn't just catching the eye of travelers. Other communities in rural Georgia are looking to Decatur County for guidance on their own solar farms.

"We get a lot of calls from elected officials from surrounding communities asking us how we did it, what we did, how we put it together," said McCaskill. "We're happy to help out any of those folks that we can."

McCaskill even received a call from an elected official from Indiana wanting to know about the Decatur County solar farm.

The solar field continues to show the rest of the region just how progressive a small community can be.

Electric customers in Decatur County have not seen a decrease in electric cost since the solar plant began operating three years ago, but the cost to build solar plants like this one have decreased quite a bit.