Category Archives: Solar

Videos: Water on private roads, ditches, transparency, Tourism Authority appointment, 3 rezonings, wetlands, solar, UPS, Lake Alapaha water treatment, body cameras @ LCC Regular 2021-08-10

Lowndes County apparently forgot to turn on the audio feed to the media corral in the back of the room during their August 10, 2021, Regular Session. Gretchen noticed during the 811 Day Proclamation and switched to the camera’s microphone, which was better than no audio. They did turn the audio feed back on during the approval of the Minutes.

The Lowndes County Commission has not videoed their own meetings for about a year now, despite authorizing $110,147.78 for Commission Chambers Audio and Visual Upgrade back in April with a report in July of expected total delivery in August. Meanwhile, the City of Valdosta livestreamed all their meetings during the pandemic with an iPhone.

The longest item by far at twelve minutes was 7.b. REZ-2021-12 US 84/I-75 Industrial Park – PD amendment for solar. After Attorney Jack Langdale spoke for, Gretchen Quarterman also spoke for.

REZ-2021-12 PD amendment for solar @ Lowndes County Commission 2021-09-10

Second was 10. Reports – County Manager, which includes some discussion about rural broadband funding.

Plus five Citizens Wishing to Be Heard, two about impassible private dirt roads, two others about drainage problems, and Brad Folsom: citizens request for more transparency.

It didn’t take a crystal ball to predict (as I did) that Wild Adventures Jon Vigue would be appointed to the Valdosta Lowndes Tourism Authority, since the last two appointees were also Wild Adventures GM.

Commissioners approved the 8.b. Alapaha Plantation Water Treatment Pilot Study, but there are murmurings that they are not going to do any subdivision water systems more like that.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of the preceding Monday morning Work Session, the agenda and the preceding Planning Commission meeting. The board packet, received after a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website:
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-08-09–lcc-packet

Videos: Tourism Authority appointment, 3 rezonings, wetlands, solar, UPS, Lake Alapaha water treatment, body cameras @ LCC Work 2021-08-09

The longest item at fourteen and a half minutes was yet more public money to be spent on water for the private Lake Alapaha subdivision next to the Alapaha River, in the Lowndes County Commission Work Session yesterday, Monday morning, August 9, 2021. They vote 5:30 PM this evening, Tuesday evening, August 10. See also The never-ending Lake Alapaha Water Treatment Plant saga @ LCC 2021-08-10.

Lowndes County Commissioner Demarcus Marshall questioning more money for Lake Alapaha Water Treatment

The three rezonings also got 4, 5, and 7 minutes.

It’s an even safer bet they will appoint Wild Adventures General Manager Jonathan Vigue to the Tourism Authority.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda and the preceding Planning Commission meeting. The board packet, received after a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website:
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-08-09–lcc-packet

Tourism Authority appointment, 3 rezonings, wetlands, solar, UPS, Lake Alapaha water treatment, body cameras @ LCC 2021-08-09

Update 2021-08-09: The never-ending Lake Alapaha Water Treatment Plant saga @ LCC 2021-08-10.

The biggest ticket item is yet more public money to be spent on water for the private Lake Alapaha subdivision next to the Alapaha River, in the Lowndes County Commission agenda for Monday morning, August 9, 2021, and voting Tuesday evening, August 10.

On the Tourism Authority appointment, Molly Deese succeeded the previous General Manager of Wild Adventures, so it’s a safe bet that the current GM, Jonathan Vigue, will succeed her on that Authority. But he’s got some competition with Rita Hightower of the Garden Center and The Crescent.

As usual, none of the three rezonings are counted as affecting the county budget, although all three will have long-term effects, two negative because of school buses and Fire and Sheriff Department calls, and one maybe positive because it’s for solar panels: REZ-2021-12 US 84/I-75 Industrial Park ~542 ac., County Utilities, I-S, M-1, M-2 and P-D (Amended).

[The three rezonings]
The three rezonings

Note the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determination that the remaining part of Val Del Villas off Val Del Road is not jurisdictional wetlands, so more houses can be built. Northside Property Development has the same registered agent as Uvalde Land Company that bought the Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank next to the Withlacoochee River and wants to deannex the upland half of it from Valdosta. The uplands in that Bank tract are not jurisdictional wetlands, either.

The other subdivision also involves wetlands, two creeks leading to Bay Branch and the Withlacoochee River, plus at least one retention pond: REZ-2021-09 Building Valdosta Subdivision (0070 018), R-A to R-21, Community Well & Septic, ~64.84 acres.

Cost What
$173,000.00Alapaha Plantation Water Treatment Pilot Study
$102,812.00Purchase of Body Cameras and Dash Cameras for Various Departments
$24,778.59Vertiv Service Contract for the Liebert UPS at the 911 Center & the 4 Tower Sites
$300,590.59Total

The $300 thousand total is a bit apples and oranges, since the cameras are for five years and the UPS is annual.

Here is the agenda. The board packet, received after a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website:
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-08-09–lcc-packet

See also the preceding Planning Commission meeting.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Former Harveys on Bemiss as Storage, Daycare not for teenagers, many Remerton cases @ GLPC 2021-05-24

Two items were contentious at the May 24, 2021 meeting of the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC): repurposing the former Harvey’s supermarket on Bemiss Road as a storage facility, and a daycare facility that some people were mysteriously concerned would have teenagers hanging around.

12. VA-2021-11 Jonathan Irvin, 512 North Forrest Street, PD - Daycare

There was also rezoning of 32.06 acres on Ulmer Avenue for solar panels. Plus many Remerton cases.

Here are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE playlist. See also the agenda. Continue reading

Solar power is beating fracked methane like the Internet won over BITNET

Why am I so sure that I will live to see fracked methane pipelines shut down, along with their tar sands and petroleum partners in crime? Because I’ve seen it before, a quarter century ago, when the Internet won over all other networks, including BITNET.

BITNET in the U.S. and Worldwide and the Internet, Matrix News 4.10 October 1994
BITNET in the U.S. and Worldwide and the Internet, in Matrix News 4.10 October 1994.

The exponential growth of the Internet sucked users away from all the other networks. Coal is already crashing so fast that cleaning up coal ash is the biggest issue. Nukes are closing left and right. “Natural” gas is still growing, but not as fast as solar and wind, which produced more new electricity than any other source in 2020. Soon, fracked methane will peak, and then it will fall fast, just like coal did. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Solar, wind, batteries and other storage will continue to soar until almost all electricity comes from them. A cleaner world, with profit for those who buy in, and lower power charges for everyone: it’s coming fast.

Vote for clean energy and help it arrive faster.

Remember FidoNet? Probably you’ve never heard of it, and this is why. Remember BITNET? Maybe not, but one of its neologisms lingers on: Continue reading

Four Lowndes County cases: water, solar, junkyard, bodyshop @ ZBOA 2019-12-03

A solar project near the Withlacoochee River proposes to cut down pecan trees and not put up the required height vegetative buffer.

[WRPDO Site Map]
WRPDO Site Map

A family timber operation wants water and sewer for a subdivision. A junkyard wants a variance for opaque fencing. A bodyshop apparently wants to enlarge an existing nonconforming structure. All four are Lowndes County cases on the ZBOA agenda for 2:30 PM today.

The entire packet is on the LAKE website, courtesy of ZBOA member Gretchen Quarterman, who only received it this morning.

Here is the agenda: Continue reading

Videos: One Lowndes County case, solar fence, Lake Park, GA @ ZBOA 2019-08-06

Nancy Hobby recused herself before the lengthy discussion of the one ZBOA case for August 2019, which was actually in Lowndes County, VAR-2019-09 — Tycor Farms (6734 Georgia Highway 376, Lake Park) Request for a variance…. or 6530 GA 376, according to a followup letter from the applicant’s representative.

[Notice Sign]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, Notice Sign

There was still nothing about the wetlands around the place, leading to Enoch Creek, then into the Alapahoochee River, into the Alapaha, the Suwannee, and on to the Gulf.

[Alapaha River Water Trail Map]
Map: John S. Quarterman, from WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail Map.

However, the likely wetlands seem to be along the eastern edge of the cleared area, so one can guess the solar panels are not going there.

[Lowndes County Tax Assessor]
Map: Lowndes County Tax Assessor, Parcel 0222 002, Tycor Farms LLC, 6530 GA HWY 376, Lake Park, GA 31636.

Nobody from the audience spoke for or against the application. The result was: Continue reading

One Valdosta Lowndes County case, solar fence, Lake Park, GA @ ZBOA 2019-08-06

Update 2019-09-24: LAKE videos.

Only one case on the ZBOA agenda today: VAR-2019-09 — Tycor Farms (6734 Georgia Highway 376, Lake Park) Request for a variance….

[Aerial photograph with buffers marked]
Aerial photograph with buffers marked

Oops, it’s not really at that address; that’s a neighbor’s house. Also, the Technical Review Committee (TRC) changed from recommending denial due to no hardship to recommending approval. Actually it’s at 6530 GA 376, according to a followup letter from the applicant’s representative.

And it’s pretty obvious from the applicant’s aerial map that it’s next to a creek, which as it happens runs into Enoch Creek, then into the Alapahoochee River, into the Alapaha, the Suwannee, and on to the Gulf. Yet I don’t see a word about wetlands in the application.

Valdosta – Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals

Valdosta Planning and Zoning Office
300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, Georgia
(229) 259-3563

Lowndes County Zoning Office
327 North Ashley Street, Valdosta, Georgia
(229) 671-2430

AGENDA
August 6, 2019
2:30 p.m. Continue reading

Southern Company Stockholder Meeting 2019-05-22

In this year’s pilgrimage to Pine Mountain, we will hear how part of Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning’s compensation will be tied to meeting the company’s low-carbon goals.

When: 10AM, Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Where: The Lodge Conference Center at Callaway Gardens,
4500 Southern Pine Drive, Pine Mountain, Georgia 31822

What: Southern Company 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders

Microgrids and batteries, Annual Report

That Annual Report page on Microgrids and Batteries looks good. Until you start to notice what’s missing from the documents.

Energy Mix, Annual Report So does this comparison of energy mixes in 2007 and 2018, at least as far as “Hydro, Wind, Solar” going from 1 to 11%. However, quite lacking is Continue reading

Solar power in Georgia 2019-03-14

How much solar power is there in Georgia? Quite a bit, and it’s everywhere, according to Georgia Energy Data map by Southface.

Georgia, Solar
Gold disks indicate individual solar installations; green disks separate into many when zoomed.

There are three 1 megawattt (MW) solar farms in Berrien County I didn’t know about, and more elsewhere in the Suwannee River Basin, in almost every county. Continue reading