$150 million solar farm coming to Early Co., bringing 400 jobs

Early Co. Solar Investment

BLAKELY, GA (WALB) - Governor Brian Kemp has announced a $150 million solar investment for Early County that will also bring 400 jobs to the area.

Silicon Ranch Corporation, the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of America’s largest independent solar power producers, has committed to an investment of approximately $150 million in three solar projects in Early County.

The first of the projects has already started on 1,400 acres of land.

“A site that will soon be solar panels. A Silicon Ranch project and for the time being, it’ll be the largest solar projects in the state of Georgia,” said Mike Newberry, the chairman for the Early County Development Authority.

In Early County, everywhere you look, solar panels will be spread across hundreds of acres after Silicon Ranch Corporation committed to investing approximately $150 million into three solar projects.

It’s all because of one thing.

“The Facebook! A 979,000 square foot facility,” said Newberry.

A Facebook data center in Newton County will need the support of this property to hold 102.5 megawatt solar panels to provide green energy to all you Facebook lovers.

“We knew that some point, what we have in Southwest Georgia could benefit the rest of the state, the rest of the country. In this case, the rest of the world,” said Blakely Mayor Anthony Howard.

And there’s even more good news.

“We expect there to be 400 jobs in the construction phase,” said Newberry.

A phase will last for 10-months and employ homegrown or people currently living in South Georgia.

Over 1,400 acres in Early County will be filled with solar panels (Source: WALB)
Over 1,400 acres in Early County will be filled with solar panels (Source: WALB)

“This is a way for South Georgia to be able to be a part of the State of Georgia’s huge expansion and economic development,” explained Howard.

Early County commissioners, the school district and other officials all had a hand in this project since last year.

“A $150 million project is not little in this community, that’s a big project,” said Newberry.

So the next time you’re on Facebook going from profile to profile, know the energy you took to like the post is the same energy being provided in a small town called Blakely.

Right now, contractors are out checking the soil to ensure the ground can hold the new panels.

In the coming days, officials will host job fairs in the area for the 400 construction jobs.

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