Thomas Co. adopts solar ordinance

Thomas County
Thomas County
Updated: Apr. 13, 2017 at 7:16 PM EDT
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THOMAS CO., GA (WALB) - As the cost of solar energy systems has gone down in recent years.. installations have gone up.

That's why leaders in Thomas County have put in place a new solar ordinance.

"We are very excited to have this accomplished," said County Manager Mike Stephenson.

The county commission put in place a solar moratorium in October.

Since then, commissioners have worked hard to get policies in place for the high number of folks interested in installing it.

"Gathering from the comments we've got from both sides. We believe we have come up with a compromise for everyone that has an interest," said Stephenson.

The amendment now sets apart two categories, solar systems for homes and businesses and then solar farms, for commercial purposes.

"Well we had a lot of interest from solar companies last year, wanting to come into the county and put in solar installations. We felt like we needed to take a look at it and see what they were proposing," said Stephenson.

Solar farms of more than 200 acres can only be built in commercial and industrial land use districts.

Any solar farm 200 acres or less will be considered in agricultural districts as a conditional use.

Conditional uses are permitted only after the public gives their opinions on the project.

"It's very important for us that when we have something this significant that comes before us. That we do get a lot of public input from anyone who might be affected by those decisions," said Stephenson.

And now from here on out, Thomas County commissioners say they are proud to support an energy method that could save home and business owners money.

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