This past winter Former President Jimmy Carter leased 10 acres of land near his home in Plains, Georgia to build a solar farm, with the help of SolAmerica. The result is a 1.3 megawatt solar farm with 3,852 panels that will provide more than 55 million kilowatt hours of clean energy to the residents of Plains annually. That’s enough to power more than half the town’s yearly electrical consumption!
“Rosalynn and I are very pleased to be part of SolAmerica’s exciting solar project in Plains,” Carter said in a statement. “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.”
But this wasn’t former President Carter’s first run-in with solar power. Back when he was in office living in the White House, he had 32 solar panels installed on the roof of the White House and a solar hot water heater. “In the year 2000, this solar water heater behind me, which is being dedicated today, will still be here supplying cheap, efficient energy…. 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,” Carter told the nation that day. Unfortunately, those solar panels didn’t live on the White House for long; Reagan had them removed after taking office.
Nevertheless, Carter, 92, hopes that this will encourage other cities and towns to commit to renewable energies. “I hope that we’ll see a realization on the part of the new administration that one of the best ways to provide new jobs – good paying and productive and innovative jobs – is through the search for renewable sources of energy. I haven’t seen that happen yet but I’m still hoping for that,” he said at an interview at his old high school.