Locals against it, but Hinds County approves solar farm.

By Oliver Townsend Jun 17, 2024
Despite local opposition, Hinds County Supervisors approve solar farm project.pngOrginal image from: https://magnoliatribune.com/2024/06/17/despite-local-opposition-hinds-county-supervisors-approve-solar-farm-project/

Despite facing local opposition, Hinds County Supervisors have given the green light to a massive solar farm project in the area. The controversial decision has sparked debates among residents and officials, with concerns ranging from environmental impacts to economic benefits. Let’s delve into the details of this contentious approval and the implications it holds for the community.

Approval of the Solar Farm Project

After a 3-2 vote in favor, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors has approved the development of what is set to be the largest solar farm in Mississippi. The project, known as “Soul City Solar,” will cover a vast 6,500-acre area between Bolton and Raymond. This decision comes after the county’s planning board had previously rejected the project unanimously, highlighting the divided opinions within the local government.

District 1 Supervisor Robert Graham, District 2 Supervisor Tony Smith, and District 4 Supervisor Wanda Evers stood in support of the project, emphasizing the anticipated economic benefits and environmental advantages. On the other hand, District 3 Supervisor Deborah Butler-Dixon and District 5 Supervisor Bobby McGowan opposed the initiative, echoing the concerns of many residents who fear the potential negative consequences.

Local Opposition and Concerns

Despite the promises of economic growth and sustainable energy generation, the approval of the solar farm has faced significant opposition from local residents. Dozens of protestors gathered outside the Hinds County courthouse to voice their concerns regarding the project. Issues raised include worries about the use of chemicals on the solar farm, potential landscape disruptions, and the impact on neighboring properties.

An online petition against the solar farm garnered nearly 800 signatures, with residents expressing apprehensions about the visual and aesthetic implications, agricultural land use, and property values. The opposition highlights the importance of considering the broader community impact of such large-scale projects and the need for transparent communication between developers and residents.

Project Details and Economic Benefits

Despite the controversy surrounding the project, Apex Clean Energy, the company behind “Soul City Solar,” remains optimistic about the venture. The solar farm is expected to generate enough energy to power over 95,000 homes annually, emphasizing the potential for sustainable energy production in the region. The company estimates up to $150 million in new tax revenue for local schools and county services, positioning the project as a source of long-term economic development for Hinds County.

Construction on the site is set to commence soon, with agreements already in place with area property owners. The project is anticipated to create job opportunities, with up to 400 workers expected to be involved during the construction phase. As the solar farm takes shape, it will be interesting to see how the community reconciles the benefits of renewable energy with the concerns raised by local residents.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *