What Ten Acres Can Do For People–Thanks To Jimmy Carter
Former President Jimmy Carter’s advocacy for renewable energy is rooted in this tiny community, and on Wednesday those roots bore the fruit of a 1.3-megawatt solar energy station that will provide more than half of Plains’ power.
Along with wife Rosalynn, grandson Jason and representatives from SolAmerica and Georgia Power, Carter took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly operational solar farm in Plains.
A long-time advocate for renewable energy, Carter leased the 10-acre site in his hometown to solar energy company SolAmerica, which has developed the 1.3-megawatt station that is expected to provide more than 50 percent of the electricity for the city.
The single axis tracker (which tracks the sun) solar array installed on Carter’s property is projected to produce more than 55 million kilowatt hours of clean energy for Plains over the next 25 years, powering at least 200 of the town’s 215 homes.
Carter explained at the ceremony that because of his humble, agriculturally-rooted childhood, he saw the importance of renewable energy at an early age.
“I first became acquainted with renewable energy when I was 11 years old,” the former president said. “We lived in a home west of Plains, about two and a half miles. We didn’t have electricity in our house. We didn’t have running water in our house, and my daddy installed a windmill. We then had an indoor bathroom for the first time and a shower bath. My daddy punched holes in the bottom of a tin bucket. Water would pour in the bucket and dribble out on us, so that was our shower bath. That was a very great improvement in my life depending on energy from the sun for wind power.”