Jimmy Carter Continues His Green Energy Legacy With 10-Acre Solar Farm
Former President Jimmy Carter leased 10 acres of his land to Atlanta-based SolAmerica to develop a 1.3-megawatt solar farm in his hometown of Plains, Georgia. An opening ceremony was held Feb. 8 to launch the project, which is projected to produce more than 55 million kilowatt-hours of energy in the next 25 years. The project will provide more than half of the power needs for the 683 residents.
By leasing his land, the 39th president continues his legacy of support for renewable energy. In 1979, Carter installed 32 solar panels on the White House, amid the Arab oil embargo, which caused a national energy crisis. According to the White House Historical Association, Carter ordered the solar panels as part of a campaign to conserve energy and to set an example for the American people. President Reagan removed the solar panels from the White House in 1981. In 2014, President Obama installed a new solar photovoltaic system on the roof, which generates 6.3 kilowatts of electricity for the White House.
In addition to installing 32 solar panels to heat water at the White House many decades ago, President Carter was also responsible for creating the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and signing the Public Utility Regulatory Act.
Construction for Carter's new project began in October 2016 and includes 3,852 panels. Georgia Power has agreed to buy the electricity generated by the system.
"Distributed, clean energy generation is critical to meeting growing energy needs around the world while fighting the effects of climate change," Carter said. "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."
Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter cut the ribbon on the farm Wednesday, just as the sun broke through a foggy, wet morning, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
SolAmerica Executive Vice President George Mori initially reached out to Carter's grandson—Georgia state senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter—to explore the idea of the solar farm. Senator Carter told the crowd of about 1,000 people at the opening ceremony that his grandfather's response to the project was, "How big? When can we do it?," the Atlanta publication noted.
"We are honored to work with President Carter and his family on this project in Plains, as President Carter's leadership on renewable energy matters is well known and much appreciated in our industry," Mori said. "Through a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with Georgia Power, this project will help expand the growth of renewable energy assets in Georgia, while contributing to the overall economy of Plains."
Carter and his wife grew up in Plains and live about half a mile from the solar farm.
By Itai Vardi
A recent intensification in protests against Williams Partners' planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations.
Last month, Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Martin (R-Norman) announced his intention to introduce legislation that would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators. Martin also helped introduce a different bill that would criminalize protests at natural gas facilities.
The so-called "first and last mile" problem is one of the biggest hurdles with public transportation. How do you encourage more people to take Earth-friendlier commutes when their homes are miles away from the train or bus station?
One solution, as this Estonian electric scooter company proposes, is to simply take your commute with you—literally. Tallinn-based Stigo has developed a compact e-scooter that folds to the size of a rolling suitcase in about two seconds.
[Editor's note: I'm still in shock after hearing the news that Lucia Grenna passed away in her sleep last week. When we first met in April of 2014 at a Copenhagen hotel, I was immediately taken by here powerful presence. We spent the next couple days participating in a Sustainia climate change event where Lucia presented her audacious plans to connect people to the climate issue. I had the chance to partner with Lucia on several other projects throughout the years and work with her incredible Connect4Climate team. I was always in awe of her ability to "make the impossible possible." Her spirit will live on forever. — Stefanie Spear]
It is with a heavy heart that Connect4Climate announces the passing of its founder and leading light, Lucia Grenna. Lucia passed peacefully in her sleep on June 15, well before her time. We remember her for her leadership and extraordinary ability to motivate people to take on some of the greatest challenges of our time, not least climate change.
By Stacy Malkan
Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired millions of people to care about science and imagine themselves as participants in the scientific process. What a hopeful sign it is to see young girls wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the words, "Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist."
As Trevor Noah noted during The Daily Show episode last night (starts at 2:25), the real reason Trump has these rallies is to "get back in front of his loyal crowds and feed of their energy." Noah believes that "Trump supporters are so on board with their dude he can say anything and they'll come along for the ride."
By Katie O'Reilly
Two years ago—long before coal became one of the most dominant and controversial symbols of the 2016 presidential election—Bloomberg Philanthropies approached production company RadicalMedia with the idea of creating a documentary exploring the U.S. coal mining industry. Last spring, they brought on Emmy-nominated director Michael Bonfiglio, tasked with forging a compelling story out of the multitudes of facts, statistics and narratives underlying the declining industry.