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Archer City Commission vote to oppose proposed GRU solar farm plan

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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ARCHER, Fla. (WCJB) - On Monday, the Archer City Commission voted to write a letter to Alachua County opposing a Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) proposed solar facility that would stretch along County Road 346 in Archer.

GRU partnered with Origis Energy, a company from Miami, to build the proposed solar farm.

Jeraldine McMillan was born in the neighborhood and explained that the land has been her family for decades. They’ve created a petition to say no to GRU solar and said having the City of Archer on their side is a step in the right direction.

“We’re excited that they approved and they’re sending a note to the Alachua County Commission that they don’t want it and they’re not going to accept this,” said McMillan.

In late February, GRU was approved for their first step forward in their plan.

“The agreement enables us to bring clean affordable power to our community in a way that has minimal impact on the environment, will not be visible to homes and will not produce noise or odor,” said GRU representative, David Warm.

Related story: Archer residents oppose new GRU solar farm plan

The GRU purchased solar plant is expected to stretch more than 600 acres but residents said they won’t stop fighting until they’re voices are heard.

“We’ve been here all of our lives,” said McMillan. “They’re bringing it here, putting it in our back yard, front yard dumping it in archer. This is not about what’s happening on 346, we’re talking about archer as a whole.”

Residents like McMillan don’t benefit from GRU services, as their energy comes from Clay Electric. The neighbors have placed signs that read “No to GRU Solar” and that the plan is “inequitable and racist.”

“We got to make a noise,” added McMillan. “If we don’t stand for something, we’ll lay down for anything.”

The Alachua County Board of Commissioners must vote on whether or not move forward with the solar plant, in order to put the plan further in action.

“Archer City Council was a key component to this fight.,” explained McMillan. “We needed their help we’re grateful that they’re supporting us.”

If approved, the project is expected to be finished by early 2023.

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