Do Solar Farms Offer Bright Future?
By John Meng General Manager
The solar industry has seen rapid growth over the past decade, and a major contributing factor has been the surge in solar farms sprouting up across the country. Jackson County is no exception. Currently, several solar energy companies are planning for five solar farms in Jackson County.
A solar farm, sometimes referred to as a photovoltaic power station, is typically a large decentralized solar array supplying electricity to the power grid. The majority of these massive arrays are considered assets for the local utility company to supply power to properties within their coverage area.
Savion, one of the country’s most experienced utility-scale solar and energy storage development companies, is proposing three solar farm projects in Ganado — Flag City Solar, Lunis Creek Solar and Lunis Creek Solar II. Sun Chase Power is developing the Ganado Solar project in Ganado, and Pattern Development is gearing up for its Old Hickory Solar project in Edna. Any one of these facilities could potentially supply 150-200 MW (million watts) of electricity to various utility companies.
Advocates for solar power claim these projects will be beneficial to the economic development of Jackson County and provide millions of dollars to the school districts. Solar farms produce electricity for the community, help to decarbonize the grid, and save residents money.
Eric Clifft, senior development manager for Savion Energy, explains that his company’s projects will bring a lot of benefits to the community, not the least of which are huge tax revenues for the city, schools and hospital. Savion estimates the projects will generate more than $97.6 million in paid taxes.
According to Clifft, the increase in the tax base is the primary benefit for the community. The three Savion projects represent a $600 million investment, and Savion would become the single largest taxpayer in Ganado.
TO READ FULL ARTICLE, CHECK OUT THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF THE JACKSON COUNTY HERALD TRIBUNE, AVAILABLE AT LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY AND AT OUR OFFICE AT 306. N. WELLS, EDNA.