By REBECCA HAZEN
Ryan Sanders with Beltline Energy, LCC, updated the Dade County Industrial Development Authority about their solar farm project during the Monday, March 21 meeting.
A solar farm will be built on 21 acres of land adjacent to Bull Moose Tube Company. Sanders noted that construction should be ready to start within five weeks, pending the closure of the land purchase, and the finalized contract with Georgia Power. The solar panels were purchased a year ago and will be ready when construction begins.
“This system will be owned by Duke Energy, (based out of Charlotte, N.C.) and they will in turn lease the acreage to Beltline Energy. The energy produced will be sold by Georgia Power. Beltline is a small boat in-between two big boats,” Sanders explained.
This solar farm will be a part of a specific program being offered by Georgia Power called the Georgia Power Customer-Connected Solar Program. According to Georgiapower.com, this program allows Georgia Power customers to partner with any solar developer to build a solar facility on or adjacent to a customer’s property.
There will be about half a million dollars in total revenue for the life of the solar farm to the community. The solar farm will be committed to generate energy for 30 years. After the solar farm is no longer operational, the solar panels will be recycled.
Sanders asked the IDA members about getting an easement to access the property, because Vanguard Road, which goes around the backside of Bull Moose Tube, is not a public right of way. IDA members said that this should not be an issue.
Also, during the meeting IDA members also accepted the resignations of both Peter Cervelli, and Larry Case. The County Commissioners will recommend new IDA board members during their monthly meeting in April. Chair Evan Stone thanked Cervelli and Case for their service.
IDA members also discussed new signage for the Industrial Park. The IDA would like to put up a sign at the entrance of the park that will list each of the businesses located there. IDA members discussed design options of the sign but did not make any final decisions.
Executive Director William Back noted that multiple businesses within the Industrial Park are participating in the upcoming career fair at Dade County High School on April 5.
“This solves two problems, it keeps people here, and also it is so difficult for industries, locally, to find people,” Back said.
The IDA went into executive session at the end of the meeting to discuss land and personnel matters. No action was taken afterward.
The next IDA meeting will be April 18.