This landmark project is the largest solar farm located in the
eastern United States, Simon Solar Farm. The project is scheduled to be online with the Georgia Power Company before end of year.
Steve Ivey/Simon Solar would like to thank the following:
The Georgia Public Service Commission
Georgia Power Company
Georgia Transmission Corporation
Site work has begun and we will be posting photo's of work progress soon.
Visit us again and watch our progress.
The Back Story:
Land used beginning in the 1930s for growing cotton is getting ready for
the new age of farming — solar.
The idea began in fall 2010 with Steve Ivey developing the concept and then presenting in February 2011 to the Georgia Public Service Commission, Governor Deal, Georgia Power, and Walton County Commissioners. This 30 MW project has moved GA from being almost at the bottom of clean solar energy development to one of the top states.
“I have picked up where my Grandfather Simons left off and am farming again on the land” said Steve Ivey, the project’s creator. “It is the exact same concept — using the sun to make a crop. Grandaddy's crop was cotton and my crop is clean energy.”
Ivey’s grandparents — Robert Simons and Lily Belle Studdard Simons — were born in Social Circle and in the 1940s owned the house that now serves as Social Circle City Hall. They purchased the land being developed for the solar farm in 1935 and began cotton farming.
A power substation was put on the land in 1972 by Georgia Power. Ivey said. “I realized I had a rare triple combination: fairly flat agricultural land, having the financial capability to carry the project forward and a direct substation connection point. Due to this rare combination, I could farm enough clean energy equivalent of about 9,000 homes annually.”
After completing Mercer University and graduate school Ivey built his own company in the music industry, with current studio and office in Nashville, Tennessee, (www.IMImusic.com).
Simon Solar was created and named after his grandfather and is an extension of Ivey's entrepreneurship which he learned from his Grandfather Simons. The idea all began in 2010 with trying to find alternative ways to heat water for a pool and thus was born an interest in solar power. Ivey then began to flesh the idea out for the solar farm by using similar methods he has developed in creating and marketing music products.
On September 13, 2011, Ivey entered the bid process presented by the Ga Public Service Commission and GA Power which was an open call email bid based on first in line process. After winning the opening slot, he began the process of completing the power purchase agreement which was agreed to on December 19, 2011. (the same date his grandfather bought the land in 1935).
“This particular region of the U.S. ranks high in solar energy potential and very low in solar energy development, so Georgia is a prime location for this booming industry both on large scale solar like Simon Solar and all the way down to small scale home implementation,” Ivey said.
“I see solar energy as the smartest way to source power. Solar is 100 percent safe and clean as proven by the EPA and there are no safety concerns or pollution. Solar panels sit quietly, collect the suns rays and turn it in to the light in your refrigerator."
“Simon Solar brings numerous benefits to the local community and the state of GA by creating jobs, education and trailblazing new power sources. Simon Solar's motto is ‘jobs for present, education for future, power forever.’”