Camilla solar plant begins commercial use

Updated: May. 4, 2020 at 6:25 PM EDT
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CAMILLA, Ga. (WALB) - Commercial operations have begun on a solar plant in Mitchell County.

Construction to this solar plant began in 2018, and as the project continues to grow and expand, money is being poured into Mitchell County's economy.

Paige Gilchrist, executive director of the Mitchell County Development Authority, said this has a great short-term impact on the community.

“They’ll have up to 300 construction workers in town at a time. They are basically living in the Mitchell County area for eight to 10 months, sometimes longer. And when they’re doing so, they’re having to go out and purchase all of their everyday items from our local retailers, which is great,” said Gilchrist.

Paige Gilchrist, Executive Director of the Mitchell County Development Authority. (Source: WALB)
Paige Gilchrist, Executive Director of the Mitchell County Development Authority. (Source: WALB)

Invenergy said commercial operations are now underway at this site.

In a statement, Bryan Schueler, the Invenergry executive vice president, said: “We are proud to have delivered on our promise to invest in the local economy and create jobs while leveraging our expertise to support Georgia Power in its efforts to increase solar development in Georgia.”

In the plant’s first 10 years, it’ll generate more than $12 million.

"In rural communities, you have to take what you can get. It’s providing tax dollars that a manufacturing company can bring in the jobs and the tax relief. We’re at least getting one of those things,” said Gilchrist.

Gilchrist said the plant is providing a tax relief to Mitchell County.

The success of this project has led to other solar power projects in the county.

“We’re open to new things, we’re open to different energy sources and we welcome that,” said Gilchrist.

Gilchrist said construction on the new solar plant is set to begin in June.

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