‘This is about the future’: Developers address concerns over solar farm
GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - As residents of Lambert Town fight against a proposed solar farm, the developers visited the community to address concerns.
Silicon Ranch Corporation, developers of the 2,082-acre land, was selected to build and operate two projects totaling 200 megawatts in Georgetown County.
In October, over 150 community members signed a petition against the development with main concerns including stormwater drainage, toxic chemicals, wildlife endangerment, a loss of jobs to the timber industry, and property value.
In response to some of the concerns, Silicon Ranch board members traveled to Georgetown this week to speak at the county council meeting on Tuesday. Matt Kisber, Silicon Ranch Co-founder, says that he likes to think that solar fields live harmoniously with nature and will strengthen the community’s economy.
“These are large investments, and as such, they provide significant amount of tax revenues to the local community,” Kisber says. “They put no demand on services, no new roads that have to be built. It provides new revenues over a long term that allows the community in the county to decide how those revenues get invested.”
As for noise and pollution, he says that solar is a clean technology and contains no hazardous materials in the solar panels. Kisber also includes that the technology produces very little noise and if there is any, noise buffers will surround the site to absorb any potential noise.
Kisber shares how the project could positively impact the community.
“One of the beauties is the hiring would come from as many local citizens as possible. One of the things we do with our contractors is strongly encourage local hiring; and when it’s complete, and it will be clean, renewable, low cost, electricity that helps to keep rates steady and provide a lot of benefits to the community with revenues that they’ll earn taxes from,” he says.
At Tuesday’s Georgetown County Council meeting, the project was deferred on its first reading. Members with Silicon Ranch plan to attend the next meeting on Jan. 10, where they hope the development is approved.
“This is about the future and it’s an economic development tool that the community can use to help position themselves for the future,” Kisber says.
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