Verner Farms site of massive power line

Tia Lynn Ivey News

A $27 million energy project is aiming to build a six-mile high voltage transmission line that will run through Morgan County from the new Facebook Data Center in Stanton Springs and end at a brand new energy substation to be built on Verner Farms in Rutledge.  Verner Farms, once a family-run farm operated by Alan Verner, closed last May, after nearly 150–year history, spanning five generations of the Verner family. Verner Farms specialized in producing all-natural, USDA-approved beef, as well as various types of hay for horses and cattle. Now it will house an energy hub that converts energy into a lowered level that residential homes and businesses can receive.  The project is headed up by the Georgia Transmission Corporation, a not-for-profit owned Georgia’s EMCs (electric cooperatives).

The new “energy highway” will transport electricity from the main hub in Stanton Springs to a new substation in Morgan County for EMC’s to draw energy out of and pass on to their customers’ homes and businesses.

“The  general route of the  approximate 6-mile transmission line  will  start at the new ThumbsUp Substation off Shire  Parkway  in Newton County, then proceed  southeast parallel to Shire  Parkway  through  Walton County  and Morgan County  along  an  existing  sewer line easement and the  proposed extension of Shire  Parkway, then north along  Sewell  Road to  Lynch Road, then east along  Davis Academy  Road to the  new Verner  Farms Substation,” explained Terry Cole, public affairs director for the Georgia Transmission Corporation. “ With regard to construction, the transmission line will be built off the roadway so any traffic impacts will be minimized.  We will have professional traffic management in place and we’ll keep your readers informed if any major impacts are anticipated.”

Leaders of The Georgia Transmission Corporation believe this project will yield significant benefits to local energy consumers.

“This project will ensure reliable electric service is available to the Morgan County community both today and in the future. Our planners work closely with our EMCs to anticipate needs and build a transmission system that helps keep the lights on for homes and businesses in the communities the EMC serves,” said Cole. “We aim to be a good neighbor while providing electric service, so the public meeting is an opportunity for us to talk with interested members of the community about the project before we get construction underway.”

The Georgia Transmission Corporation is planning to have the transmission line and substations up and running by September of 2019.

This August, the company will hold a series of public meetings to receive feedback from the local community and provide information about the project.

The next meeting will be held on Monday, August 26 at Philadelphia Baptist Church on Davis Academy Road. The public is invited to drop in anytime between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Georgia Transmission Corporation will provide large maps to visually depict the project and experts ready to field questions and comments from the public.

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