HomeLocal governmentArcher Residents and Origis Energy Reach Agreement to Find New Site for Solar Project
Archer Residents and Origis Energy Reach Agreement to Find New Site for Solar Project
June 6, 2022
Press release from Origis Energy
Today, community leaders from Archer’s Historic African-American community and Origis Energy stood together to announce an agreement for the Sand Bluff Solar Project to move forward. Acknowledging the community’s heritage and addressing the concerns expressed by adjoining property owners and Archer’s Historic African-American Community, Origis Energy will withdraw its original application and relaunch the project in a different location.
“We are proud to say that after months of listening to and working with the community behind the scenes, we have found a solution and are proud to have earned a partner in our goal to produce clean, renewable solar energy in Alachua County,” said Johan Vanhee, Chief Commercial and Procurement Officer for Origis Energy.
“In response to last year’s events, we are redoubling our efforts to live up to our high standards for community engagement, while we work to preserve and protect every local community we partner with. We’re really pleased that we have a chance to move forward with the project and to continue our work with the community on a win-win solution that will bring cheap, clean, renewable energy to Alachua County. Rest assured that moving forward, we are here to actively engage and communicate with the community as we relaunch this project,” Vanhee continued.
Archer resident Jeraldine McMillan stated, “This Agreement preserves the character and nature of our historic, rural African-American community while embracing solar development in a more compatible location. Our community is happy with the outcome and I would specifically like to thank our pro bono attorney, Nathan Skop, for helping us protect our community.”
Archer property owner Loretha Cleveland stated, “Since the issue has been amicably resolved, a visible precedent for future projects is in place to uphold high standards for community engagement with deliberation to maintain respect and positive development for all involved parties.”
Nathan Skop, a Gainesville attorney who provided pro bono legal representation to the Archer community, stated, “After many months of negotiations, this Agreement represents a positive outcome for my pro bono clients. Origis Energy showed good faith in working together to find a ‘win-win’ solution that everyone can be proud of.”
Origis Energy plans to continue its engagement to support relaunching the Sand Bluff Solar project as it takes the next steps of studying sites compatible with the landscape and the community. Origis looks forward to working closely with the Archer community, Alachua County, and the City of Gainesville on the future of the solar project. The 50 MW planned project will supply enough energy to power over 11,000 homes and generate clean, renewable energy equivalent to taking nearly 10,000 cars off the road, annually. The solar project is now anticipated to begin operations in 2024.
About Archer’s Historic African-American Community
The CR 346 / St. Thomas / Longpond community is one of the two historic, rural African-American communities located in Archer, FL. The community is located along CR 346 (approximately 4 miles Southeast of the older St. Peter / St. Paul community). The Longpond Cemetery is a historic, rural African-American cemetery located on the St. Thomas church property. Longpond cemetery has graves dating back to 1895 and is the resting place of WWI & WWII African-American veterans, Preston Mosley (FL PVT 322 Labor Co OMC), and African-American persons born before, during, and after the Civil War. Longpond cemetery is listed as a historical cemetery on the State of Florida Master Site File.
About Origis Energy
Origis Energy is bringing clean and cost-effective solar and energy storage solutions within reach for utility, commercial, and industrial as well as public sector clients. The Origis team has worked to ensure the interests of all stakeholders are upheld in 170 projects worldwide totaling more than 4 GW to date of developed solar and energy storage capacity. Headquartered in Miami, FL, Origis Energy delivers excellence in solar and energy storage development, financing, engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) and operations, maintenance and asset management for investors and clean energy consumers in the U.S. For more information visit us at www.OrigisEnergy.com