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Construction nears for solar plant

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By Alton Mitchell

Chris Busby of the Chambers County Development Authority gave LaFayette city council members an update on Monday evening about the status of upcoming solar plant to be built in LaFayette.

Mr. Busby confirmed that he had been in recent contact with company representatives from Miami, FL based Origis Energy. The company that is set to build the massive solar plant in LaFayette. Mr. Busby was happy to advise council members that the project may be underway in just a matter of weeks. A timeline of 2-3 weeks is a possibility for work to be underway at the worksite explained Mr. Busby.

According to Mr. Busby the project has encountered a couple of hurdles that the company has been overcoming to get the dirt moving. One hurdle involved the discovery of an archeological structure on the property and it had to mitigate before work could proceed. That obstacle has been overcome and now the company is just waiting for a permit from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Company officials believe that permit should be obtained within about two weeks.

Once the permit is obtained officials with Origis Energy plan to close on the property and begin work immediately. Busby states the first stage of construction should be the construction of a substation. Once completed land clearing will follow on the project

There is no word on the exact number of construction jobs that are heading to the area, however several possible estimates have been thrown around that range from 100-300 potential construction jobs heading to the area. Once completed the plant will employ between 5-10 employees permanently. Those permanent positions will include jobs such as controllers, security, and maintenance. No exact date of the opening of the plant has been given, but according to Mr. Busby a company official has told him it could be operational by the third quarter of 2017.