At the 2018 Skillet Festival in Quitman, Brooks County, Georgia, the froggy toss game was quite popular.Continue reading
Solamerica Energy is building another solar farm in the Alapaha River Basin, leasing from Tycor Farms LLC, 6530 GA 376, Lake Park, Georgia, 31636.
Map: John S. Quarterman, from WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail Map.
There seem to be wetlands on the east side of the property, leading to Enoch Creek, then into the Alapahoochee River, into the Alapaha, the Suwannee, and on to the Gulf. However, the likely wetlands seem to be along the eastern edge of the cleared area, so one can guess Continue reading
Clearcutting of upland forests, due process failures at the public hearing, spot zoning, violations of local ordinances, and failure to adhere to the Brooks County’s own Comprehensive Plan are among the grounds on which landowners are going to sue to overturn the Commission’s unanimous decision at the beginning of August to approve a Special Exception for NextEra Energy of Juno Beach, Florida, to build a 150 megawatt solar farm on wooded wetlands.
Here is the press release from their attorney, Jonathan Perry Waters of Macon, Georgia (see also PDF).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2019
LANDOWNERS CHALLENGE SOLAR EXCEPTION
Quitman, Georgia— August 29, 2019 — On Monday of this week, Brooks County Superior Court Judge Richard Cowart signed a Sanction for a Writ of Certiorari allowing a group of landowners in Brooks County to file a petition in the Superior Court of the County challenging the granting of a Special Exception Zoning permit by the Brooks County Board of Commissioners to Quitman II Solar, LLC to construct a 1,700 acre solar site in the an Agricultural Zoned area of the County. Quitman II Solar, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy, of Juno Beach, Florida.Continue reading
The speakers against NextEra’s 150 megawatt Quitman II Solar on wooded wetlands were many and eloquent, from the very directly affected Brian Duck surrounded by solar panels to the strategic NextEra’s deadlines are not our deadlines, to the philosophical: Chad Stipe on Heritage and values, and Abigail Pope Sowell on care of the earth as our most pleasing responsibility.
The speakers for let out some stunners, such as Deer will just move –Corey Haines, Biologist, Trees and roads no concern –Atty. Jonathan E. Wells, and Cancel out my wife –George Wallace.
My favorite was the allegedly impartial Daniel Geller of UGA who claimed Georgians import all our energy. I rebutted this by noting my 15 kilowatts of solar panels on my farm workshop, before telling the Commissioners some things they may not have known, about FPL in Florida and Sabal Trail burning in Quitman. Opposition attorney Waters also got Gellar to explicitly say he was not speaking for UGA.
Compliments to the Brooks County Commission for letting everybody who wanted to speak, with no restrictions on where they could be from (unlike Charlton County). There were, however, some irregularities: Continue reading
Update 2019-08-17: WWALS videos of the speakers for and against.
The Public Hearing was so packed more people were standing outside. There was a decision, finally, but first…. The speakers against were eloquent and numerous, despite the initial confusion about could they give their 5 minutes to opposition attorney Jonathan P. Waters.
Answer: no, but the Chairman let several opposition speakers have the attorney speak for them anyway.
Various people spoke for NextEra’s proposed special exception for their 150 megawatt Quitman Solar II project in wooded wetlands.
Then the Brooks County Commission made the still-overpacked house wait through their regular agenda. Finally, Patrick Folsom moved Continue reading
Update 2019-08-05: Decision.
NextEra wants a special exception for a 150 megawatt solar farm on wooded wetlands in Brooks County. The Brooks County Commission is holding a Public Hearing this Monday, August 5th. NextEra previously got approval for a 100 MW solar farm on already-cleared farmland. WWALS is all for solar, but not if it requires clearing forests or filling in wetlands, as it appears this application may involve.
When: 5PM, Monday, August 5, 2019
Where: 610 South Highland Street, Quitman, Georgia 31643
According to the Brooks County Clerk yesterday, those who sign up before 5PM will get three minutes each to speak in the Public Hearing. See also the Documents.
The PSC required more than Georgia Power and Southern Company requested, although they still do not seem to understand that solar power is growing exponentially like compound interest.
See Stephen Fowler, GPB, July 16, 2019, Public Service Commission Adds More Solar To Georgia Power’s Energy Plan.
In 2013 Georgia only had some nominal solar energy online, less than 300 megawatts. In the 2013 IRP, the Commission added 525 megawatts of solar energy. Three years later, in the 2016 IRP, another 1,600 megawatts were added. By the end of 2019, Georgia should have a total of 2,400 megawatts of solar and other renewable energy on the grid. The 2,210 megawatts approved Tuesday will nearly double Georgia’s level of renewable energy by the end of 2022.
Doubling every two years is merely not falling farther behind. And what about after 2022? What’s the plan for more than doubling again by 2024, etc.? WWALS asked for Continue reading
Drawing from eight years of speaking at Southern Company Stockholder meetings, and from that Homerville, Georgia explosion that destroyed Coffee Corner and sent three women to the hospital with third-degree burns, here’s a summary of the comments we filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission today. If you can’t go to the GA-PSC hearings tomorrow and the next day about the Georgia Power Integrated Resource Plan, you can also send a comment letter asking the PSC to stop Georgia Power locking in fossil fuels and make them get on with sun and wind pwoer on a smart grid.
- Yes, fine AGL more than $2 million for that Homerville, GA explosion.
- Require Georgia power to buy 12 gigawatts (GW) of solar power, not 1 GW.
- Make Georgia Power pay to dispose of the coal ash it produced, properly on its own property.
- How about make the companies that put mercury in the air to come down in our rivers pay for the costs to recreational fishing.
- Stop throwing money down the Plant Vogtle nuclear hole.
- Demand Georgia Power get on with wind power.
This about sums it up: Continue reading
Last Thursday, NCFRPC E.D. Scott R. Koons noted that Appointments to the task forces for each of the toll road corridors would start soon. Among the types of representatives that are supposed to be appointed, are environmental organizations (two of those listed in the bill are on record opposing it).
Koons also discussed approved funding for a hurricane evacuation study. Why, you may wonder, was the toll road bill, supposedly largely about hurricane evacuation, passed before that study was even started?
Ken Cornell of Alachua County noted “There’s a lot of election cycles before this is going to be done.” Indeed, a new governor could decline to implement this toll road boondoggle, and if enough elected officials on the task forces oppose it, that might even stop it. He also said:
Cornell asked for new Executive Committee members to get together before the next Council meeting,
So we can have some discussions at this Council like what we’re doing for Valdosta, and have a united front. Alachua County and I know many others will stand in support of this issue.
Suwannee Riverkeeper stands in support of the counties opposed to the toll roads.
Below are the WWALS videos from that North Central Florida Regional Planning Council meeting in Lake City, FL, with more details. Continue reading
Update 2019-05-28: See also Videos: toll road planning –E.D. Scott R. Koons & Ken Cornell @ NCFRPC 2019-05-23.
Eight citizens from across the region spoke Thursday against the toll road boondoggle, at the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council meeting in Lake City, FL.
Below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker, followed by a WWALS video playlist.
See also Continue reading