Following a presentation by David Savage of Green Energy, a Texas-based, company. Board Member Virgil Adcock motioned to enter into the agreement with Green Energy and Board Member Gary Bannister also voted for the project. Board Chairman Scooter Howell voted no, saying he thought the board needed more time to discuss the issue and Board Members Henry Wright and Daphne Rogers were silent throughout the vote.
There was some question following the meeting as to whether the motioned passed with only two yes votes.
Attorneys for both the park board and Green Energy, however, concluded that the vote was legal and binding.
Currently the plan is to place approximately 10 turbines on the mountain above Leesburg that would generate electricity for Tennessee Valley Authority.
Savage said the project could mean approximately $9 million in tax revenue for the county over the life of the project could increase tourism for Cherokee County, bringing in extra dollars from outside the area. The project will also result in new jobs, during both the construction phase and afterward with tentative plans for a visitor center, which will be shared by Pioneer and the Park Board that will offer educational programs promoting and explaining clean energy. The completion date for the project could be as soon as December of 2013.
Projected revenue could mean up to $300,000 a year over a period of 30 years for the county if the project along a ridge of Cherokee Rock Village proceeds. The project would generate up to 20 megawatts of energy, which is enough to provide electricity close to 6,000 local homes.
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