A new group aimed at increasing the amount of solar power used in Forsyth County recently held its first meeting.
Members of Solarize Forsyth held a launch event at United Way of Forsyth County on Thursday, July 14, where speakers discussed the growth of the solar industry in Georgia and how a program could help make it cheaper for others to move to electric.
According to information from the group, Solarize Forsyth is “a coalition of local non-profit and community advocates for safe and more affordable solar.”
Before hearing from members of the groups, a pair of elected officials spoke at the meeting about the importance of solar energy.
Speaking via video chat, Republican District 25 state Rep. Todd Jones said he had been involved with solar and alternative energy sources in businesses for more than two decades but the interest from the public had surged in recent years.
“Some people are doing it for financial reasons, others are doing it for climate change, others are doing it because they see a significant interest in terms of our national defense,” Jones said. “I think there is a cornucopia of reasons and drivers why this is so important. I think, without a doubt, all three of those work, but I think there is so much more to it in terms of why we want a stacked set of fuel options as opposed to one more linear like we have today.”
In a pre-recorded video, Democratic U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux said solar and renewable energy sources were a benefit for not just the environment but also the state economy.
“Solar technology offers us a clean, renewable source of energy to power our schools, homes and businesses, Bourdeaux said. “Not only is solar one of our best tools for addressing our climate crisis, it is also an economic engine that has spurred local manufacturing here at home. Georgia is leading the way on producing green technologies, including batteries and solar panels. Now is the time to take advantage of this critical technology and make a big difference.
Sally Gates, with the Kiwanis Club of Forsyth County, said the idea for the group came during an environmental convention in Jekyll Island attended by Kiwanis and other groups where group purchasing of solar panels was discussed, which Solarize Forsyth also wants to bring to the area.
“There are a lot of positives to solar, but it is definitely an overwhelming purchase, so this is an amazing program,” Gates said.
For more information on the group, go to www.solarcrowdsource.com/campaign/solarize-forsyth/