Community torn on possible second solar facility in Quitman

Community torn on possible second solar facility in Quitman
Sign against a second solar facility in Quitman. (Source: Viewer)

BROOKS CO., Ga. (WALB) - The people of Brooks County are looking at the likelihood of a second Quitman Solar Energy Center being built in their community.

This comes after the county commissioners unanimously approved a special zoning exception for a 1,700 acre solar facility for NextEra Energy.

The company has confirmed that they are currently constructing the Quitman Solar Energy Center and looking at the possibility of a second Quitman center.

According to county officials, more than 50 people signed up to speak during Monday night’s public hearing.

More than half of those people spoke about concerns for the wildlife and the state of area after the facility is shut down.

During the meeting, Tiffany Holmes, the director of the Brooks County Development Authority, spoke in favor of the project.

Brooks County Development Authority Director Tiffany Holmes
Brooks County Development Authority Director Tiffany Holmes (Source: WALB)

“What we wanted to do is make sure that the commissioners knew the amount of research and work that we put into this project. We didn’t want them to think that this was something that we were bringing to them without thoroughly vetting the project," said Holmes.

Holmes said they believed that they believe this project would be an overall benefit. They estimate that it could bring in about $10 million in tax revenue over the next 30 years. This is alongside the $13 million expected from the current facility under construction.

Holmes and NextEra maintain that the company is following all environmental regulations related to the project.

During Monday’s meeting, Holmes said they brought in more than 150 letters of support from the community.

County officials also said they approved the project with added decommissioning and road work agreements.

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