Proposed solar farm back on Albany City Commission agenda

Workers begin construction of a massive solar farm on Moultrie Road in Dougherty County.

ALBANY — An applicant denied permission earlier this year to construct a solar-energy facility in Albany will get another chance today to make a case for the project.

Albany City Commission, citing in part the “noise” produced by solar stations, denied a request by Inman Solar during a June meeting for the solar farm. Inman Solar has requested rezoning to build and operate the 25-acre facility on a wooded piece of property located on a 73-acre site near Augusta Drive in south Albany.

The commission has scheduled a public hearing on the issue for 6:30 p.m. during its 6 p.m. work session. The board’s regular meeting starts at 7 p.m.

If approved, Inman Solar would sell electricity generated to Georgia Power. The company is seeking to have the property, currently zoned for various residential use purposes, to an agricultural “AG” zoning designation.

Constructing a solar-energy facility on the site would require special approval from the commission. Zoning staff, which have recommended approval of the project, said the development would generate little traffic and comply with vegetative buffering requirements.

“The proposed use is suitable with adjacent industrial zoning and operations to the east of the property,” a zoning report prepared for commissioners says. “It is less suitable with the residential neighborhood to the west and south along Augusta Drive (Country Club Estates).

“However, the project requires no outdoor lighting, limited traffic (eight to 10 site visits per year), plus required screening, which would ameliorate compatibility issues.”

The facility would be 344 feet from the closest residential area to the south and 700 feet from that to the west, the report said.

Other business on the meeting’s agenda includes a proposed soil vapor installation for the Maple Street inert landfill at a cost of $293,000 and a four-year appointment to the Stadium Authority.

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