You might not think there’s an energy crisis looming on the horizon, but experts are quietly predicting that energy costs could quite easily double over the next decade. This is down to the fact that the population of our planet keeps growing, almost doubling from 3.7 billion people in 1970 to 7.4 billion people in 2016. The demand for energy is putting our natural resources under intense pressure. The supply of fossil fuels are already heading towards exhaustion, with most oil-producing nations now starting to diversify their economies, rapidly moving away from fossil fuels as their only income source.
Alabama Power Starts Solar Energy Project:
In a major development Alabama Power has announced the construction of a solar energy project, which once complete, will generate 72-Megawatts of power for Chamber County. To put this in perspective 1 megawatt of solar energy can provide enough power for almost 200 homes, so this facility will be capable of generating enough power for at least 12,000 homes in Chamber County, and elsewhere in the state.
Alabama was the home of the US space program, so it makes perfect sense for an advance energy generation project like the AL Solar LLC endeavor to be located here. Interestingly enough if you look at Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest oil producers on the planet, they are now taking the first steps towards becoming a supplier of renewable energy. Their interest in becoming the world’s biggest supplier of solar energy and photovoltaic products is based on the knowledge that the energy industry will change dramatically by 2035.
Solar Project Adds to Local Economy:
This solar energy facility will be located near LaFayette, just a short drive north of Auburn, and will be constructed in partnership with AL Solar LLC. The sub-contractor for this project is Origis Energy, which predicts that the project will create at least 200 jobs in the construction sector, between now and when the facility goes live at the end of 2017. Obviously the creation of this many jobs will contribute millions of dollars to the local economy, with the additional benefit of potentially attracting other high-tech projects to Alabama.
Walmart To Use Most of the Power:
In even more interesting news the majority of the power output from this renewable energy facility will be purchased by Walmart, as part of their commitment to power their business empire with 100% renewable energy within the next few decades. The first major benchmark towards that long-term goal takes place in 2020. Walmart recognizes that renewable energy is the future of domestic and commercial electricity requirements, and are leading the way in that regard.
Between now and then the remaining renewable energy credits (RECs) not purchased by Walmart will be available to consumers and businesses in the area. Thanks to the long-term agreement with Walmart, the costs of building this facility will not be passed on to existing customers of Alabama Power.
Construction of the solar energy facility in LaFayette will require an investment of approximately $140 million, with the funding unanimously approved by the Alabama Public Service Commission in June 2016.
This exciting new project is due for completion by December 2017, and looks set to place Alabama on the map for early-adopters of renewable energy on a commercial scale.