On the closed landfill across from Valdosta State Prison on Val Tech Road, what looks like maybe a megawatt of solar panels by the City of Valdosta.
These solar panels are on Lowndes County parcel 0081A 001, which is owned by the City of Valdosta, and which stretches all the way to GA 133 and to the Withlacoochee River.
These are the solar panels on the Valdosta City Council agenda 10 August 2017, and in their Minutes:
BIDS, CONTRACTS, AGREEMENTS, AND EXPENDITURES
Consideration of Easement Agreements with Georgia Power for solar arrays on Val Tech Road at the old landfill near Valdosta State Prison and at the Police Department firing range.
David Frost, Assistant Utilities Director, stated that the City of Valdosta has been working with Hannah Solar and Georgia Power through a competitive process to be selected for a solar panel site where the City would allow Hannah Solar to use some of our excess property for placement of solar panels at both the old and new Withlacoochee Wastewater Plants.
In a 2016 Council Meeting, the City agreed to contract with Hannah Solar on utilizing two tracts of land for them to build additional solar arrays by which they would sell power on the grid to Georgia Power. Instead of getting land lease payments from Hannah Solar, Hannah would build the City a separate solar array to provide power to the new Withlacoochee Plant. At the end of six years, Hannah Solar would deed the solar array to the City. Hannah would have all responsibility for construction, set-up, operation, and maintenance for the first six years.
The solar array to be built and ultimately deeded to the City would provide 50kW of power, which would provide a portion of the power needed for the Treatment Plant. Using solar power instead of electricity would provide greater savings to the City than a land lease would generate in income. This same concept is now being utilized at the old and new Withlacoochee facilities. The solar array would save the City approximately $9,000 per year and over $270,000 over a 30-year period in present day costs.
Georgia Power needs an easement for the distribution line that will be going into the new solar fields at both the old landfill and Police Department Firing Range sites. Henry Hicks, Utilities Director, reviewed the easements and Exhibit A’s and based on the maps, these easements will not encroach on any utility infrastructure. David Frost recommended that Council approve the of Easement Agreements with Georgia Power for solar arrays on Val Tech Road at the old landfill near Valdosta State Prison
and at the Police Department firing range. Councilman Carroll inquired as to the timeframe when the Plant will be operating in part with solar power. David Frost stated that the Mud Creek Plant is currently on-line and has been since December, 2016 and the solar arrays that are under construction at the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant should be ready September 1, 2017.
A MOTION by Councilman Carroll, seconded by Councilman Norton, was unanimously adopted (7-0) to approve the of Easement Agreements with Georgia Power for solar arrays on Val Tech Road at the old landfill near Valdosta State Prison and at the Police Department firing range.
Those minutes mention “The solar array to be built and ultimately deeded to the City would provide 50kW of power, which would provide a portion of the power needed for the Treatment Plant.” That apparently refers to one of the solar arrays at the old or new WWTP. There is no mention of how much power the old landfill solar panels would produce. Just by eyeball I’m guessing they cover enough land to produce a megawatt, but I don’t know.
Sungrow is a Chinese manufacturer that makes “A range of grid connected string inverters with outputs of 1.5 to 30Kw, and maximum input voltages of 400 to 1000 volts, designed for small to medium sized installations, with some models being of transformerless design,” according to Solar-Facts.
But these inverters don’t seem to say how much power they produce. The “INV 3.5” label seems to merely refer to which DC collector this inverter converts. I would call Valdosta Utilities and ask, but today is a holiday.
Interestingly, those Val Tech Road solar panels are not on the Southface Georgia Energy Data Map, although the solar installations at the Mud Creek WTP are (the (4) southeast of Valdosta) and the ones at the old and new Withlacoochee WTP are (the (2) west of Valdosta). As are my two sets of solar panels totaling 15 KW (the (2) at the north edge of Lowndes County). So are the 2 MW by Lakeland Solar Energy LLC on Burnt Church Road south of Lakeland in Lanier County, just west of the Alapaha River (the sun symbol in the top right of the map).
I don’t see the solar panels at the Valdosta Police Department firing range on there, but that may be because I don’t know where that is.
Anyway, yay Valdosta, for all these solar arrays!
PS: Who could have foreseen this?
“Solar energy will not pollute our air or water. We will not run short of it. No one can ever embargo the Sun or interrupt its delivery to us. But we must work together to turn our vision and our dream into a solar reality.
—President Jimmy Carter, 20 June 1979
And now that solar photovoltaic panels cost 1% of what they did in 1979 with prices still dropping and solar deployments doubling every two years, we’re on track for most total U.S. electricity coming from solar power by 2013. Valdosta is helping with that.
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