Leesburg looks to solar panels as step towards greener energy

Lee Co. Solar farm

LEESBURG, GA (WALB) - Leesburg designated nearly six acres of city land for a new solar panel farm.

City leaders said it’s a win-win, more income for the city and the potential for lower utility costs for Georgia Power customers.

Around six acres of a 25 acre lot will be used to put in solar panels to help fuel the city of Leesburg.

Mayor Jim Quinn said the city was skeptical about the project, but they are happy to finally do something with the land which is otherwise useless.

“Yeah, it’s not great farm land,” said Quinn. “It’s not going to be great to build houses on, so solar rays are the perfect thing for it to be.”

But the city is getting something out of the deal.

“We’ve got some vacant land in Leesburg that we weren’t getting much taxes off of,” explained Quinn. “We’ll now have many of the solar panels on that we will get taxes off of and not provide any services for.”

This project all came to be when the land owner was approached eight months ago by a private company working with Georgia Power.

“We lease the land to them,” said Doug Wingate, a managing member for the Georgia Farm Service Great Southern Peanut Company. “Put this on there and we’ll have a monthly income from the solar energy company.”

This is part of a larger project Georgia Power started to help companies reduce their power bills with green energy.

“Georgia Power has a program that they need to have a certain amount of renewable energy by a certain date, and the solar panels in Leesburg will help them meet that goal,” said Quinn.

They hope to start beginning this process in the next couple weeks and then the city can begin its process towards newer and greener power.

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