By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Sawnee EMC hailed for solar farm effort

CUMMING — A Cumming-based electric services cooperative was recently recognized in the state House of Representatives for its efforts to develop a solar farm in southwest Georgia.

House Resolution 1308 commended Sawnee EMC and other participating Georgia cooperatives for their partnership with Green Power EMS to develop the 20 megawatt solar project, which is being built and operated by Silicon Ranch Corp. in Jeff Davis County near Hazelhurst.

The resolution was sponsored by District 25 state Rep. Mike Dudgeon of south Forsyth and Reps. Karla Drenner of District 85 and Sam Teasley of District 37. It passed on Feb. 8.

“We are humbled and proud to be part of those EMCs mentioned in this resolution,” said Blake House, vice presidents of member services for Sawnee EMC.

“We are also excited to see this new solar facility come online later this year, which will provide our members with clean and renewable electricity for the next 25 years.”

Headquartered in Cumming, Sawnee serves about 160,000 accounts in seven counties throughout north Georgia.

In the language of the resolution, it was stated that the solar facility, which took “months to build, employed 230 skilled workers and tradesmen and is expected to generate more than 43 million kWh of clean, renewable electricity annually.”

It also noted that Georgia’s EMCs and Green Power EMC, of which Sawnee EMC is a founding member, have “collectively invested more in solar power than the cooperatives in any other state, with a total of 220 MW expected to be online by December 2016.”

Green Power EMC was the first green energy program in Georgia. It was created by state EMCs in 2001 and has been selling environmentally friendly power since 2003.

In addition to landfill gas generation, the cooperative obtains power from renewable facilities all over the state, including low-impact hydroelectric, wood waste biomass and solar power.