Posted on: September 25, 2019 at 5:23 pm
Last updated: July 26, 2020 at 12:58 pm

A true leader at heart, forever giving power to the people. Literally.

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The 39th President of the United States (1977-1981), Jimmy Earl Carter, supported the solar energy industry when he installed 32 panels in the White House for water heating 1979.

A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people,” he had said [1]

One of his predictions did come true as solar energy has become of the fastest-growing energy industries in the world. Today, the 94-year-old’s solar has a solar farm that is supplying 50% of all the energy used in his home town of Plains, Georgia [2]. He signed a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Georgia Power to expand the growth on clean, renewable energy in the state.

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In February 2017, the project was completed by SolAmerica on a 10-acre piece of land in Plains. Carter’s farm is supplying his home and half the city’s electricity with 1.3 Mega Watts of power every year. He had 3,852 panels installed on the farm and later that same year, he had the company install an additional 324 panels in his library to supply 7% of its energy requirements.

Carter’s unending advocacy for clean energy

In 1977, President Carter established the Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and later signed the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURPA) [3]. Carter is one of the top global advocates for clean energy distribution and even as a near-centenarian, his efforts have not diminished in the slightest.

“Rosalynn and I are very pleased to be part of SolAmerica’s exciting solar project in Plains. Distributed, clean energy generation is critical to meeting growing energy needs around the world while fighting the effects of climate change. I am encouraged by the tremendous progress that solar and other clean energy solutions have made in recent years and expect those trends to continue,” he said to SolAmerica [4].

According to estimations from the company, the solar panel will continue to generate massive amounts of energy if properly-maintained every year, with a target of 55 million kWh over the next 25 years. The technology is state-of-the-art, with powerful single-axis solar trackers installed to direct the panels towards the sunrays. This will maximize energy capture and reduce labor intensity.

“There remains a great deal of untapped potential in renewable energy in Georgia and elsewhere in the U.S. We believe distributed solar projects like the Plains project will play a big role in fueling the energy needs of generations to come,” said SolAmerica’s Executive V.P, George Mori.

A treasure to the people of Plains

The carbon footprint in the town would be massively reduced with the distribution of clean energy. Solar energy can supply every industrial and domestic appliance it’s supplied to, and it’s especially easy to maintain the farms. It’s freely available from the sun every day and when it’s continually cloudy in the rainy seasons, the energy reserves would still be enough to cater to the people’s power needs.

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Maintenance of the solar farm will create employment for hundreds of people in the town, while reduced electricity costs will improve the standards of living in the area. More people can venture into electricity-dependent businesses and be able to work without the perpetual fear of bankruptcy from bills.

The Nobel Peace Prize holder and anti-racism advocate is an icon to the people of Plains and a true American hero. Live long, Jimmy Carter, the world needs more people like you.  

  1. Christianna Reedy. Former President Jimmy Carter Just Made a Solar Farm to Power Half His City. Futurism. https://futurism.com/former-president-jimmy-carter-just-made-a-solar-farm-to-power-half-his-city. Retrieved 23-09-19
  2. Admin. Jimmy Carter’s Solar Farm Is Powering Half His Home Town. Give A Shit About Nature. https://gasanature.org/jimmy-carter-solar-farm/. Retrieved 23-09-19
  3. Admin. The Creation of Energy. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/magazine/1979/05/20/the-creation-of-energy/6e283b80-06b5-426b-b953-d3e492ad4020/. Retrieved 23-09-19
  4. Admin. SolAmerica Energy Launches 1.3 MW Solar Project on President Carter’s Farm in Plains, Georgia. http://www.solamericaenergy.com/news/carter-farms/. Retrieved 23-09-19
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