Seeing the light on solar power

Jayden Carr, who is 4 years old, became fascinated by solar panels when they were explained to him by his father, Dr. Jeremy Carr, who teaches at Central Alabama Community College. When Jayden grows up, he will likely reap the benefits of clean energy generated by the sun because the technology continues to improve. The […]

Jayden Carr, who is 4 years old, became fascinated by solar panels when they were explained to him by his father, Dr. Jeremy Carr, who teaches at Central Alabama Community College.

When Jayden grows up, he will likely reap the benefits of clean energy generated by the sun because the technology continues to improve.

The Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, which supplies electricity to Alexander City, is already becoming more involved in solar because it is becoming more economical to deliver.

“In the next three to five years, I think we could draw as much as 7 percent of our energy from solar,” AMEA president and CEO Fred Clark said during the dedication of a solar power research facility in Alex City. “The panels are coming down in cost to get to the scale to be economical. When we get to that scale, we’ll reduce the amount of energy we buy from coal and natural gas sources. And solar energy has a fixed price. In another 10 to 20 years, energy costs will likely go down due to technology like this.”

The Alex City solar panels produce just enough to supply five to seven average-sized houses, Clark said. But the AMEA is going to build a 1,000-acre solar facility to produce much more.

That large-scale facility probably won’t be located in Alex City but our community will benefit from solar power going forward. Perhaps Jayden Carr is already becoming inspired to be part of groundbreaking efforts to use the sun to provide enormous quantities of cheap, reliable electricity.

Dr. Carr said Jayden was thrilled to go to the dedication to see the solar panels.

“When we pulled up here, he said, ‘Get ready Daddy, here come the solar panels,’” Dr. Carr said.

Here they come indeed. The light bulb has come on.