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Monroe County embraces solar energy farm

Cheaper and cleaner energy? Monroe County is all for it!
JULIETTE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Cheaper and cleaner energy?
   
Monroe County is all for it!

When Monroe County passed an ordinance a few months ago it encouraged solar energy growth.
   
That caught a company's eye, and now, the county should reap the benefits.

"Just having a clean source of energy is great," said Monroe County resident Joshua Nichols.

The Georgia summer sun blazes down in Juliette like it does every day.

"It'd be real nice--it'd be a blessing," said Nichols.

Monroe County wants to take advantage.

A solar farm made up of energy gathering panels will be constructed near Nichols' neighborhood.

"(I'm) hearing about it for the first time," said Nichols. "(I) hope it gets around faster. I hope it happens very soon. I hope it gets approved and hope it goes well."

And everything did get approved--the Monroe County Commissioners said the project was good to go Tuesday night.

It's pretty overgrown and pretty messy at the future site of the solar farm, but there's plenty of sun in this opening of trees, and that's important.

"As long as the Sun's up we are producing power and generating revenue for ourselves and for the county," said Shamus Hutchinson.

Shamus Hutchinson works for Cantsink, a company from Lilburn that pushed for the farm.

"It's just another form of energy that will be produced here in Monroe County," said Hutchinson. "And hopefully if we get more projects like this, residents will begin to see a decrease in their power."

So no decrease in bills just yet, but once it's soaking up the sun, the farm should help the county make money.

"Them contributing to the county's tax base is what we're looking at," said County Commission Chairman Mike Bilderback. "We see it as a low-impact and a positive for contributions so it's a win-win for us."

And it's a win-win for Nichols as well.

"This county the area definitely could use a little bit more money to get some things going," said Nichols. "Anything to help with more money, and better more beautiful place, more jobs, anything is great, anything is a help now so that would be wonderful."

The farm should be done in the next few months.

Commission Chairman Mike Bilderback says the solar farm shouldn't bother anyone with noise or pollution, and he's happy about that.

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