Former President Jimmy Carter – who famously started his career as a peanut farmer – has leased a ten-acre site in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, to SolAmerica Energy for development of a 1.3-MW solar project, which will provide over 50 percent of the power needs of the city. A ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by company and city officials, as well as the Carter family, took place at the site on February 8.
Carter, an early advocate and leader of the renewable energy movement during his tenure – who installed thermal solar panels on the White House roof during his term as POTUS #39 (1977 to 1981) – commented, “Rosalynn and I are very pleased to be part of SolAmerica’s exciting solar project in Plains. Distributed, clean energy generation is critical to meeting growing energy needs around the world while fighting the effects of climate change. I am encouraged by the tremendous progress that solar and other clean energy solutions have made in recent years and expect those trends to continue.”
President Carter created the Department of Energy (DOE) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and signed the Public Utility Regulatory Act of 1978 (PURPA) – all catalysts for the advancement of renewable energy in the United States.
SolAmerica EVP George Mori added, “We are honored to work with President Carter and his family on this project in Plains, as President Carter’s leadership on renewable energy matters is well known and much appreciated in our industry. Through a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Georgia Power, this project will help expand the growth of renewable energy assets in Georgia, while contributing to the overall economy of Plains.”
SolAmerica developed, engineered and installed the single-axis tracker solar array on Carter’s property. Over the next 25 years, the system is projected to generate over 55 million kWh hours of clean energy in Plains.