Pine Mountain, Georgia, is located between Atlanta and Macon in central Georgia. The town of just over 5,000 people is known for its peaceful atmosphere and pretty countryside. Nestled in the mountains, the average temperature is fairly high meaning that it is warm all year round. This year, the town is celebrating being energy independent.
The town is home to a solar power farm, which is entirely sustainable and runs without any fossil fuels. The town’s electrical grid system is equipped with enough solar capacity to power the town’s essential needs. The farm is home to 72 solar-powered homes, providing power to the town 24/7.
The people of Pine Mountain are passionate about reducing their eco footprint as much as possible. They see the town’s electrical independence as a symbol of progress, prosperity, and environmental awareness.
The town’s mayor, Mark Taylor, said: “There’s so much talk about the environment and climate change, and this is a great example of a town taking a step forward in terms of being more eco-friendly. We know that climate change is caused by humans, so cutting back on our energy usage is one of the ways we can help. The solar farm reduces our reliance on energy from fossil fuels, and since we don’t need to buy expensive fuel to generate electricity, the savings are substantial.”
Pine Mountain is just one of a host of communities around the world going green. From powering homes with solar energy to switching to zero-waste models of living, the world is looking for ways to go green.
Sustainability is a major issue, with nearly 1.8 million people without electricity. As people become more environmentally aware, they are seeking sustainable solutions to generate and use electricity. This is also leading to a rise in the popularity of electric cars as people want to reduce their impact on the environment while still accessing the freedom of movement electric vehicles provide.
The Rise In Organic Living
In recent years, there has been a rise in interest in organic living. Inspired by the “clean living” movement, many people are seeking healthier and more environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional diets. Clean eating and organic products are now popular and prominent in the food industry, with almost 40% of American consumers now opting for organic products. This is a massive market share, considering that only 3% of people chose to go green 10 years ago. The popularity of organic food and living is being attributed to health concerns, predominantly regarding the effect of conventional diets on obesity levels.
Some people, such as John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, believe that the sustainability movement will inevitably flow into popular culture, changing the way we eat, how we travel, and even how we interact with other humans. He predicts that within 10 years, 100% of US$400 billion in revenue will come from organic products.
Pine Mountain is also taking the lead when it comes to going solar. The town is home to a 72-panel solar farm that provides enough energy to power the town’s electrical grid. When put into operation in 2016, the solar farm reduced the town’s dependence on energy produced by polluting sources, such as coal and natural gas. The panels are made up of 144 solar-powered homes and businesses, reducing the town’s carbon footprint by around 500 tons per year. This is equivalent to taking approximately 100 cars off the road for a year.
The panels have proved popular, with approximately 3,000 people having invested in solar power. The town’s power company, Georgia Solar, says that several thousand applications for solar power have been received since the grid became available.
The town’s residents have also saved a great deal of money since the solar farm was installed. In 2019, around 20,000 MWh of electricity were generated, costing $0.043/kWh. The electricity generated is sold to Georgia Power, decreasing the cost to the taxpayer by $60,000 per year. This equates to around $43 per month.
The 72-panel solar farm will continue to generate around 100,000kWh in 2030, meaning that it will save the town a substantial amount of money. This is equivalent to around $68,000 per year, and over $50,000 per month.
This cost-effective and sustainable solution is projected to save the town $60,000 per year, making it one of the most cost-effective renewable energy projects in the country. The investment in renewable energy sources, such as solar, is also helping to create quality employment opportunities in an area that badly needs them. At least 34 new jobs have been created as a result of the solar farm, equipping the town with ample opportunity for future growth.
The Significance Of Going Green
The world’s largest solar power plant, the Dubai Solar Project, was completed in 2016 and provides 6.5 million kWh of electricity per year. It is estimated that the plant will save approximately $19.8 million per year, compared to the cost of electricity from fossil fuels. The plant will also reduce the town’s carbon footprint by 70,000 tons per year, taking 10 years off the plant’s expected lifespan.
Going green is good for the environment and the economy alike, and communities around the world are leading the way. As the demand for eco-friendly products and sustainable energy sources increases, entrepreneurs are seeking greener and more cost-effective ways to provide these goods and services.