Solar Farm to be built and keep up with growth in Colombia County

CSRA News

Green energy is headed to Appling, and neighbors are upset about it.

The property owner says it’s her land, and she wants to keep up with Columbia County’s growth.

The owner of the property told NewsChannel 6 that her neighbors won’t even be able to see where the solar farm is going to be built.

Property Owner, Cynthia Buckner, showed NewsChannel 6 reporter, Jenna Kelley, pictures of her grandmother.

This land has been inherited down to her through generations. To keep up with Columbia County’s growth, Buckner is turning it into a solar farm.

“This solar farm offered me the opportunity to do some farming, but not raise cattle anymore cause I’m getting too old for that,” says Buckner.

Some homeowners in Appling aren’t happy with the way it’s being built.

Appling Homeowner, Robert Neal, “there is no silt fences, and there is no preparation at the entrances and exits to prevent mud from being tracked on to the roadways by the large trucks going in and out of there.”

Neal believes Columbia County skated by the necessary steps to build. He says this farm will cause soil erosion.

“They should have the same enforcement for soil erosion for a state project or timber project that they do for a home project or a commercial development,” says Neal.

Buckner says it will not disrupt the soil. She says the company is on contract to restore the land to it’s natural state when they finish.

“What they do when they insert the solar panels, they are put on poles and just directly put in the ground. They replant anything in grass and they put a vegetative barrier around that area,” says Buckner.

She says her surrounding neighbors think it’s a good idea and others, she says, would not even be able to see it from the street.

“Other developments like neighborhoods. I turned that down. I can actually make more money doing that. I can hold the land and sell it in a few years for a lot more money, but this allows me to be sure that my land won’t be developed for the next 40 years,” says Buckner.

The solar company will now take the plans to rezone the property back to the Planning and Zoning Committee meeting for Columbia County. That meeting will be on August 15.

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