Harvesting the Sun

04/23/2018

Farming has always been part of the Cox family history, and that continues today. But now, the type of farm is radically different.

This May, Cox leaders will be in Douglasville, Georgia, to cut the ribbon at one of Cox’s new solar farms. Cox opened four of these farms in the Southeast: three in Georgia and one in Florida.

The solar panels at these locations produce clean, reliable electricity without consuming any fossil fuels. This aligns perfectly with our national sustainability program, Cox Conserves. Launched in 2007 by our Chairman Jim Kennedy, Cox Conserves focuses on reducing waste and energy consumption, conserving water and inspiring eco-friendly behavior.

How is the Energy Used?
Cox is partnering with different electric utilities located within each of the project areas to provide the power from all four solar farms directly to the electric distribution grid. For the Douglasville location, we’ve partnered with GreyStone Power Corporation, which is a member of Green Power EMC, an association of EMCs (Electric Membership Corporation) that are seeking to build renewable power in Georgia.

The result will be enough energy produced at the Douglasville location to power 466 homes a year. When combined, the four solar farms will produce enough energy to power 1,648 homes annually.

What’s Next?
Cox Conserves — and now Cleantech — are always searching for ways to develop projects and programs that are right for the environment and for the business. Cox is continuing to look for similar and even larger renewable energy opportunities in the future. These opportunities will help achieve our Cox Conserves goal of being carbon neutral by 2044.

Curious How Solar Panels Work?
The solar photovoltaic panels take the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity. Electricity is a flow of electrons. The electrons are part of the silicon material and are locked into a “bound state” that keeps them from flowing. To generate energy, they must first be freed. This is where light comes in. Just as rainfall is made up of individual raindrops, “light fall” (sunshine) is made up of a stream of individual “light drops” called photons. Each photon packs enough of a punch to knock a single electron free from its bound state. The electron can now join the other electrons to create an electrical current.

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