By Jeremy Gove, Information Systems Administrator,
One of my favorite riding songs is a little gem called “Shine Like the Sun” by Matt Maher. With an open-ended feel, a lightly-layered lead guitar, and a resounding old-school classic rock riff, it’s the perfect soundtrack for rolling down your windows and hitting the road. Although the song doesn’t talk about alternative energy or cost-savings, as of December 16th, the title is one the citizens of Evans County can rally behind. That’s because, thanks to the Economic Development Authority of Claxton-Evans County, the Cantsink Solar Farm has come to our area.
The six-acre home for Evans County’s newest resident is located in the Claxton-Evans County Industrial Park and boasts more than 3,000 solar panels. Designed to generate more than 1,500 megawatt hours of electricity per year, the solar farm has the ability to power as many as 121 homes and has the capacity to generate $15,000 or more in annual tax revenue for the county. To top it all off, it serves as a long-term guaranteed revenue stream due to a 20-year agreement with Georgia Power. All in all, Cantsink’s presence is a sustainable win for our county. The project is part of a solar power purchasing initiative headed by Georgia Power, whose goal is to stimulate economic growth within the solar energy sector. In other words, the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI) helps solar farms make money by agreeing to buy energy that solar farms create and put up for sale. It also serves as an incentive for investing in alternative, clean, green, renewable energy.
Energy is a necessity, but, as time goes on, getting and generating it is becoming more and more of a necessary evil. The basic premise is that fuel costs us something to acquire and use. Oil, shale, coal, and other combustible forms of fuel are limited. We’re tied to the natural reserves that exist either here or in other countries. Trade agreements, politics, war…we see the influence of these every time we pull our car up to the pump for a fill up. If relations are good, gas prices are good. If politics are suddenly shaky, our pumps and pockets pay the price. Throw in a communist dictator, a controversial movie reference, a bare-chested bear rider, terroristic sympathies, or any of many conflicts in the Middle East and acquiring energy suddenly gets more complicated, not to mention the environmental impact of burning fuel and the resulting pollution.
Even though it’s electricity that we’re discussing, the same principle applies: Electricity costs money to generate and it costs us something to use. However, imagine off-setting that cost by using a source that naturally occurs. Imagine not having to generate energy because nature generates it for us. That’s the premise of solar energy. We can harness the natural power of the sun and use it to help power our businesses and our homes. Not only can we harness this technology, not only can we minimize the environmental impact, not only can we both save our citizens money and generate income from outside sources, but by working hard and putting this renewable energy station into place, we send a message to outside businesses and potential investors that our community is looking toward the future with the goal and intent of making Evans County shine like the sun. This recent development in our area is about more than just solar panels and green energy; it’s about stewardship, pride, and integrity…the very things that have the potential to make our area, and the people in it, to shine!
To learn more about the Economic Development Authority and the Cantsink Solar Farm, visit and like the EDA’s Facebook page. While you’re on Facebook, “like” our page as well. Photo courtesy of Dr. Curt Hames and Curt Hames Photography