Category Archives: Dublin, GA

Videos: Solar Dublin High School groundbreaking @ DHS Solar 2013-03-11

Breaking ground Groundbreaking for solar power to save Dublin High 40%, thus reducing teacher furloughs, financed by municipal bonds, made possible by cooperation among a wide range of government officials, private companies, and individuals: that was the groundbreaking story in Dublin, Laurens County, yesterday, videod by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE.

Dublin City Schools are willing to try something new, and that’s why they were groundbreaking, said Chuck Ledbetter, Superintendent, yesterday. He recognized members present of the Dublin City Council, the Laurens County Commission, the Dublin-Laurens Development Authority, and state representative Matt Hatchett, and Public Service Commissioner Bubba McDonald. Ledbetter’s theme,

News camera and speaker Everybody worked together to make this happen.

was echoed over and over by many other speakers. What they worked for was economic help for Dublin City Schools through solar power, financed by municipal bonds.

The Mayor of Dublin, Phil Best added to the list Continue reading

Circular wastewater firing squad continues

The VDT's Sunday front page was covered with wastewater stories, continuing the circular firing squad of the local powers that be. Meanwhile in Dublin, GA, they're breaking ground for solar panels at the local high school, using a bond financing model that we could use here, if local leaders would look up.

In addition to some detail about the city's FEMA application and following up on flooded yards, the VDT followed up on its EPD and EPA scrutiny story with one saying City received help from EPD to keep EPA away. It's good the VDT is covering these issues, but it's still leaving out important parts of the local water story.

Apparently firing back at Thursday's Valdosta City Council session, perhaps especially Robert Yost's very pointed criticisms of the VDT, the VDT concluded its rather rich Sunday editoral:

City leaders, please, no more of the blame game. The citizens of this community are imploring you to just accept responsibility and fix it.

Yet the VDT has spent the last week blaming the city, and has accepted no responsibility for its own role, or that of its editor, Kay Harris, in the recent loss of the SPLOST referendum that would have further funded wastewater work in Valdosta.

Now, I agree with the VDT that Continue reading

Solar Dublin High School groundbreaking tomorrow

Dublin gets the jump on the rest of Georgia again: Dublin High School will get a megawatt of solar electricity through a lease agreement with a private company using local government bonds to get around Georgia’s special financing problem.

Kenny Burgamy reported for for Thursday, Solar Plant To Be Located at Dublin High,

Dublin High School of Dublin City Schools will soon implement 1 megawatt of solar energy.

The 4,000 panel solar power plant will be the largest in Central Georgia and is expected to save the school 40 percent in energy costs.

Dublin City Schools Superintendent Chuck Ledbetter told 13WMAZ, “The facility will be built and owned by private business and the school system will lease the solar power plant, saving us money in energy costs.”

The original plan was developed more than 15-months ago by German based MAGE SOLAR, which has a plant located in Laurens County.

The story has been carried by GPB by Athens Banner-Herald via AP.

This installation is similar to but slightly different from Continue reading

New biomass plant near Dublin, GA: what it’s really about

Not really about jobs, and not about feeding electricity into the grid: the new biomass plant near Dublin, GA is about saving that company money on electricity: but at what cost to the state and to local residents?

Mike Stucka wrote for 6 December 2012, Deal announces $95 million biomass power plant for Laurens County,

A new biomass power plant announced Thursday is expected to bring hundreds of related jobs and a direct $95 million investment.

A statement from the office of Gov. Nathan Deal said the plant itself will bring 35 permanent jobs to Laurens County.

Compare 35 permanent jobs for $95 million to MAGE SOLAR’s 350 jobs for $30 million. That’s about $2,700,000 per job for this deal, vs. $85,714 per job for MAGE SOLAR. Which would make MAGE SOLAR’s facility more than 30 times more effective at producing permanent jobs.

OK, but what’s this one supposed to do?

Continue reading

Valdosta: 3rd poorest city

Valdosta #3! Followed by Albany #4! In poorest cities in the country. What can we do about that?

Michael B. Sauter, Alexander E.M. Hess and Samuel Weigley, 24/7 Wall St., wrote for NBC News 14 October 2012, America’s richest and poorest cities,

3. Valdosta, Ga.
  • Median household income: $32,446
  • Population: 140,599 (87th lowest)
  • Unemployment rate: 9.2 percent(140th highest)
  • Percent households below poverty line: 27.6 percent (ninth highest)

From 2007 to 2011, the unemployment rate in Valdosta increased by 130 percent, from 4 percent of workers to 9.2 percent. The number of employed workers declined by more than 6,000 during that time. Those jobs remaining often pay a lower salary. Last year, nearly 17 percent of the work force was employed in the generally low-paying retail industry, the sixth highest percentage of all metro areas. In 2007, just 11.3 percent of the labor force worked in retail. Valdosta, however, has an improving and active housing market. Home prices rose nearly 12 percent between 2007 and 2011. Despite these positives, 14.4 percent of housing units were vacant last year, higher than the national vacancy rate of 13.1 percent. Also, 15.3 percent of homes were worth less than $50,000 versus 8.8 percent nationwide.

The study is actually for “U.S. metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs” and this population is not just for Valdosta, it’s for the Valdosta MSA, which includes Brooks, Echols, Lanier, and Lowndes Counties.

Look who’s next on the list:

Continue reading

Dublin ahead of us again: solar street lights

Dublin, Georgia already got MAGE Solar and car part manufacturer Erdrich Umformtechnik. Now Dublin is ahead of us again, with solar street lights.

Austin Lewis wrote for 13WMAZ yesterday, Dublin Sets Up Solar Street Lights,

Dublin has started putting up Solar street lights on South Jefferson near the city's downtown. This project got federal funding from the federal government administered by the Georgia's Department of Transportation.

And grant supported! If anybody around here had applied, maybe we would have gotten such a grant.

Instead, it's another first for Dublin:

"This is the first transportation corridor that has solar lighting in the state of Georgia so it's just very exciting for us, first to have a solar industry in Dublin, now to have the first state roadway lit by solar lighting," said Tim Lake, of T. Lake Environmental Design.

Bragging rights and practical, too:

Lake said the cost of these street lights is about $11,000 and that the standard street lights cost just over $7,600. But the typical street light have other costs like a leasing fee and monthly energy costs that go to the electric company.

He said because the solar street lights are powered by the sun, they will end up saving taxpayers about $500 dollars a month or $15 per street lamp.

"The first is return on investment happens very quickly, 3.7 months for the city to get a return on investment on these lamps," said Lake.

All that plus this:

The solar panels were also made in Dublin by MAGE Solar. Lake said this was a truly collaborative project.

Collaboration. Maybe our Industrial Authority should try it.


Georgia Power doubles solar capacity in Dalton, GA

Dalton, the place that had a solar plant bigger and earlier than Valdosta’s. Did Mayor Fretti’s brag about this location being competitive go out with him? Crawford Powell is still a County Commissioner. The Industrial Authority is still supposed to be bringing in industry. The Chamber of Commerce is still supposed to be promoting jobs. If Dublin and Dalton do this, it seems like Valdosta and Lowndes County could….

Dave Williams wrote for the Atlanta Business Chronicle Thursday, Georgia Power tees up next phase of solar plant,

Georgia Power Co. will begin construction soon on a project that will double the generating capacity of the utility’s solar plant in Dalton, Ga., the company announced Thursday.

The first phase of the plant went on line last March and is operating with a capacity of 350 kilowatts.

Construction of the second phase, due to be completed in about two months, will bring the plant up to 700 kilowatts, on its way to a full capacity of 1 megawatt of electricity. One megawatt of solar photovoltaic panels produces enough energy to power about 135 homes.

Let’s see some local leadership!


Car part manufacturer locates in Dublin, Georgia

First MAGE SOLAR, now this. Somebody in Dublin and Laurens County, Georgia, is successfully attracting new, clean industry.

A press release Tuesday on the Governor’s website, German automotive supplier to create 178 jobs in Dublin

Erdrich Umformtechnik to invest $39 million in Laurens County, Deal reports

Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Erdrich Umformtechnik GmbH & Co.KG (Erdrich), a German-based automotive supplier, will construct a state-of-the-art metal stamping facility in Dublin in Laurens County. The company will create 178 jobs and invest $39 million in the construction of this plant.

“Automotive industry suppliers find in Georgia the logistics infrastructure, skilled workforce and overall business environment necessary for them to compete globally while meeting the needs of their customers,” Deal said. “I am also encouraged to see yet another German company call Georgia home, indicating even further that our efforts to build and foster international relationships are yielding positive results. Georgia proudly welcomes Erdrich to our state.”

Erdrich is a midsized family-owned company that produces complex metal parts and subassemblies for the automotive industry, and has been in the metal stamping business for more than 50 years. The company has two plants in Germany, one in the Czech Republic and another in China that supplies parts to other automotive supplier companies as well to BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen.

“Following an extensive multistate search for the right U.S. business location for our company, we were delighted to find the right fit in Dublin, Georgia,” said CEO Georg Erdrich. “This very pro-business community met our requirements with respect to logistics to our customers, access for our suppliers, operating costs, workforce and quality of life. The economic development leadership at the state and local level worked closely with us to make our decision based on confidence in the data, the business analysis and the leadership.”

So apparently at least one locality in Georgia is capable of attracting this kind of industry.