City considers solar power for 2 Albany Walmart locations

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – Walmart may soon run off solar energy. That’s if the Albany leaders choose to participate in a Walmart solar initiative.

It involves the city, MEAG Power, Electric Cities of Georgia and the Cordele Road Walmart and Neighborhood Market on North Slappey.

Ken Stock, assistant city manager for utility operations, said this is a conversation that started last year in December.

Ken Stock is Albany's assistant city manager for utility operations.
Ken Stock is Albany’s assistant city manager for utility operations. (WALB)

Although this specific project for solar power is just for Walmart, it may open up other doors later.

“I think long-term solar is definitely an option that the city may consider going forward,” said Stock.

The discussion on Friday was the last one before the utility board will decide if they want to be a part of the partnership.

The proposal is a 20-year contract. Stock said the city only sees one initial cost.

“We would have to put up the first month’s payment as collateral and put that into an escrow account, so in that sense yes, one month’s payment. If everything were to go perfectly as they say, Walmart would cover absolutely 100% of the costs. And, the city would earn approximately just under 10% as a fee for providing the service to Walmart,” said Stock.

This means the city would get about $9,600 a month.

This initiative would help maintain the cities relationship with Walmart, among other things.

“It would be beneficial for the city so that the city could add solar to the city’s resource mix for energy,” said Stock.

MEAG Power is a nonprofit organization that provides clean energy to 49 communities in Georgia.

During the Friday meeting, Mayor Bo Dorough had some questions about where they would set up solar panels.

“They plan to build a facility in Wilcox County, and it would be connected to a MEAG power station that’s in that area,” said Jackson.

Steven Jackson, the senior vice president and COO with MEAG Power, said this solar farm would be about 400 acres.

Walmart has signed the proposal and next is the cities signature. They will be discussing that at their next board meeting on July 22. The deadline for the city to sign this proposal is at the end of August.

If all parties agree, they plan to implement this solar initiative by December 2023.

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