Solar farms could be coming to Dougherty County - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Solar farms could be coming to Dougherty County

Changes to an ordinance for solar panels could help attract solar farms to Dougherty County. (Source: WALB) Changes to an ordinance for solar panels could help attract solar farms to Dougherty County. (Source: WALB)
According to Chris Cohilias, a solar farm is coming to the community in 2019. (Source: WALB) According to Chris Cohilias, a solar farm is coming to the community in 2019. (Source: WALB)
Paul Forgey, Planning and Development Director (Source: WALB) Paul Forgey, Planning and Development Director (Source: WALB)
DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

Solar farming has been a hit throughout the country and Dougherty County could be the next spot open for business. 

Dougherty County leaders want solar farms to grow business-wise. Currently, the county has regulations in place that discourage solar farms.

"A solar farm can only occupy 50 percent of the parcel that it's on. So, if you wanted to develop 100 acres of solar you would have to own or lease 200 acres before you could put in the 100 acres," said Planning and Development Director Paul Forgey.

That regulation was put into place because at the time, solar power was fairly new and they were going into uncharted territory. Now, the ordinance is being revisited in hopes to make solar power more feasible for those looking into it. 

"So it makes it really expensive to have to control twice as much property as you'll actually use," said Forgey.

Making a revision to the ordinance will now give solar farms the option of realistically coming to Dougherty County.

"If we want solar to come to Dougherty County that we're ready for it and we make it so it's affordable for them cause otherwise, they will go to a community where it's more affordable," said Forgey.    

And according to Commission Chairman Chris Cohilias, one is already in the works.

"Dougherty County has already been courted by numerous solar fields before and, in fact, we already have one that is coming to the community in 2019," said Cohilias.

 Officials want the public's input on solar farms and they are encouraging citizens to voice their opinion at the next meeting Thursday, March 1. 

Copyright 2018 WALB. All rights reserved.

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