Groundbreaking Held For Large Solar Project In South Georgia

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — Plans for a massive new solar installation in south Georgia are moving ahead.

Construction will soon get underway on the first phase of the DeSoto Solar Farm project in Lee County, north of Albany, the governor's office said Wednesday.

Gov. Brian Kemp and other officials attended a ground-breaking ceremony recently.

The first phase will supply power to an electric utility as part of the utility's agreement to provide clean energy to a Facebook data center in Newton County. Some of the power will also be purchased for use by electric cooperatives in Georgia.

Two additional phases are planned over the next two to three years, according to the governor's office.

The full project is expected to cover much of a 3,000-acre site with solar panels and produce 250 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough to power 47,000 homes and would make it one of the biggest solar installations in the southeast, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The project — valued at more than $220 million — is being developed by Silicon Ranch Corp., the solar energy operation for Shell.