Former President Jimmy Carter Powered Half His Hometown With Solar Energy
Back in 1979, when the United States was going through its period of energy crisis, the then president Jimmy Carter addressed the nation by installing 32 solar panels designed to use the sun’s energy to heat water. In his statement, he said that “A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.”
Today, several decades later, it seems that the vision of president Jimmy Carter was ahead of its time, even though, if we started way back then, we would have been far better off today than we actually are. And to prove that history kinda repeats itself, the following president, Ronald Reagan had those panels removed from the White House. Nevertheless, former president Jimmy Carter and his family continued on with the solar energy initiative and ensured that the 32 panels became part of an even bigger story.
Carter leased 10 acres of land at the outskirts of his hometown of Plains, Georgia, to be used as a solar farm. And as of February this year, the development firm SolAmerica completed the project. The solar farm will have the capacity to power half of the town’s energy needs. This only stands to show how one man with a purpose can give renewable energy to half a town, even if he was a former president.
Moreover, former president Jimmy Carter had an extra 324 solar panels installed on the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, which will provide the building with about 7 percent of the building’s energy needs.
“Distributed, clean energy generation is critical to meeting growing energy needs around the world while fighting the effects of climate change,” Carter said in a SolAmerica press release. “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.”
Over the years, and without any real support from other national initiatives, Carter continued on with his activism. The solar farm in his hometown of Plains is expected to generate somewhere around 1.3 MW of power per year, which is the equivalent of burning 3,600 tonnes of coal. Over time, only this solar farm alone will be able to prevent a large amount of CO2 from escaping into the atmosphere and wreak havoc on the climate and all living things as we know them.