Signs of Progress with Clean Energy Growth in the Southeast

Ashleigh Sherman | September 4, 2023 | Clean Energy Generation, Clean Transportation, Energy Efficiency, Solar

The Clean Energy Generation is making progress every day here in the Southeast. From farmers in North Carolina using their land for solar panels to Black churches in Georgia going green, our clean energy future is becoming a reality.

This past spring, we shared eight stories about clean energy growth in the Southeast. Take a look at just a few of the signs of clean energy adoption we’ve seen in the past few months!

The photo on the left shows sheep grazing in front of solar panels. The one in the middle shows a line of electric cars charging. The one on the right shows a bunch of solar panels in a field.

Santa Rosa has its first solar farm. This flock of sheep will help maintain it.

Florida Power and Light recently commissioned the Blackwater River Solar Energy Center. It’s not only the first solar energy site in Santa Rosa County, but also part of a solar grazing pilot project — using sheep from a local farm to maintain the land’s vegetation. This concept is known as agrivoltaics, which is when land is used for both agriculture and solar photovoltaic energy generation, maintaining the area’s rural landscape. Read more.

North Carolina BATT CAVE aims to innovate the future of electric travel

The only university-led battery research center in North Carolina and funded by the state, UNC Charlotte’s North Carolina Battery Complexity, Autonomous Vehicle and Electrification Research Center (BATT CAVE) is opening up NC’s booming electric vehicle industry to younger folks. The BATT Cave’s primary focus is battery safety. Read more.

Farmers help Duke Energy add more renewables to its grid

Michael Dalton only uses 50 acres of his land to crop hay in Mocksville, North Carolina. The other 110 acres is leased by Duke Energy for their 15.4 megawatt Mocksville Solar Facility, which generates enough clean electricity to power 3,000 homes a year. With many threats to their crop that farmers like Dalton can’t control—like Mother Nature—this is a welcome economic boost to the small farming community. Read more.

The photo on the left shows solar panels along a road. The one in the middle shows a church. The one on the right shows energy storage.

Nonprofit installs solar panels, plants flowers along 18 miles of west Georgia highway

Georgia-based nonprofit The Ray is putting “forgotten” green turf alongside highways to good use. 2,600 panels of solar power now run along an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 85 between LaGrange and West Point. Underneath these solar panels? A meadow of pollinator gardens, inviting endangered bees to pollinate. This win-win-win project is already inspiring similar ventures in Florida, Maine, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Read more.

Georgia’s Black churches look to go green

First African Baptist Church, among the oldest continuous African-American congregations in America, has its eyes on the future. The church could be among the first Black churches in Georgia to produce its own electricitythrough a mix of Inflation Reduction Act-funded solar PV, charging stations, battery storage, and energy efficiency upgrades. Read more.

Tennessee secured $7B in clean energy business this past year — representing nearly 80% of new investments

Since last August, Tennessee has secured $7 billion in planned investments in the construction of electric vehicles, energy storage, and solar panels. These 14 projects represent nearly 80% of all capital investments in the past yearthree times more than any other sector combined. Read more.

Follow along each week

These stories highlight just a few of the positive things happening in our area! Every day we see signs of hope. The Clean Energy Generation is creating a future powered by clean energy that leads to clean air and water, good jobs, and vibrant communities.

Would you like to see more stories like this? We’ve got just the thing for you! Every Thursday, we share the latest clean energy news on Instagram with #CleanEnergyNews. Join us as we celebrate the progress and signs of hope in the clean energy transition.

Join the Clean Energy Generation

Together, all of us who are taking action are part of the Clean Energy Generation movement. We’re coming together to create healthier communities and a more secure and sustainable environment, starting now. No matter your age, income, zip code, or abilities, you can play a role. You don’t have to have the answers, learning more is a great way to start. Join us, and we’ll share ideas, resources, tools, and practices to show how we can all be part of the transformation.

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Ashleigh Sherman
Ashleigh Sherman is the SACE Digital Communications Manager. She oversees the strategy behind and management of our social media accounts, leveraging SACE’s digital channels to drive awareness, engagement, and action.…
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