In 2020, a determined group of Black residents in Archer, Florida, joined forces to stop the construction of a solar farm plant in their residential neighborhood, which they believed would do more harm than good. But, in 2021, the activists experienced a setback in their plans to block it.
Michelle Rutledge, a community member and activist who lives across from the proposed site, was astonished to learn that the Alachua County commissioners were considering authorizing a 650-acre utility-scale solar power plant on the agricultural land right outside the historically Black town. Rutledge rallied the community members and managed to win a victory by ultimately persuading the Alachua County commissioners to vote against the project.
According to Inside Climate News, the 74.9-megawatt photovoltaic solar facility is called the Archer Solar Project, a collaboration between power companies First Solar and Duke Energy. It would span the 650-acre vacant farmland plot near the Saint Peter neighborhood.
“The first thing I thought of was this is a residential neighborhood. There’s a community here, you know,” said Rutledge in response to the notice.
“This is not a facility that’s compatible with the residential community,” she added.
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SOURCE: Black Enterprise, Atiya Jordan