Friday, December 30, 2011

Farming the Sun

Walton County is in Georgia, in the metro Atlanta area.

County’s second solar farm set to go online in 2015

By Robbie Schwartz | Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 12:00 am

Land used in the 1930s for growing cotton is getting ready for the new age of farming — solar.

At a meeting earlier this month, the Walton County Board of Commissioners approved the county’s second solar farm, this one 205 acres located at 916 Social Circle Fairplay Road.

“I have picked up where my grandfather left off and am farming again on our family land,” said Steve Ivey, of the project’s developer Simon Solar Farm. “It is the exact same concept — using the sun to make a crop. His crop was cotton and my crop is clean energy.”


Having been in the music industry for 20 years, with a studio in Nashville, Tenn., this is all new to Ivey. It all began with trying to find alternative ways to heat water and thus was born an interest in solar power. He then began to flush the idea out on his website,


“This particular region of the U.S. ranks high in solar energy potential and very low in solar energy development, so Georgia is a prime location for this booming industry both on large scale solar like Simon Solar Farm and all the way down to small scale home implementation,” Ivey said. “Large projects like mine will help drive down solar panel production costs and make it feasible for the average homeowner to soon have their own solar array on their house or carport and be in control of their own power needs. Not only do I see solar energy as a trend for the future, I see it as the smartest way to source power. Solar is 100 percent safe and clean as proven by the EPA and there are no safety concerns with meltdowns or earthquakes or pollution. Solar panels sit quietly, collect the suns rays and turn it in to the light in your refrigerator.

“Simon Solar Farm will have numerous benefits to the local community and our state by creating jobs, education and trailblazing, putting energy creation in the homeowners control. My motto for the farm is ‘jobs for present, education for future, power forever.’”

[What a contrast to people like the Koch brothers and many others in the fossil fuel industry.]



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