Recipients and Supporters Gather from Across the State to Celebrate

Utility Scale Solar Siting Initiative Receives Clean 13 Award

Representatives of the Utility Scale Solar Siting Initiative receive Clean 13 award in recognition of efforts to minimize the potential impact of solar “farms” on our state’s natural habitats and water resources. Pictured above from left to right: Scott Hendricks (Georgia Power), Mike Worley (GWF), Brett Albanese (GaDNR), Emma Alligood (GWF), Cathy Marion (USFWS), Eric Bauer (USFWS), Amy Gutierrez (TNC). Photo: Erik Voss

Every other year, the Georgia Water Coalition (GWC) shines a spotlight on exceptional individuals, businesses, industries, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies whose remarkable endeavors contribute to cleaner rivers, resilient communities, and a more sustainable future for Georgians. This year, the Georgia Wildlife Federation and partnering organizations were honored by the GWC as Clean 13 Water Heroes. Their recognition stems from efforts to mitigate the adverse effects that utility-scale solar installations may have on wildlife and habitats.

Across Georgia, expansive solar “farms” are emerging, reshaping the state’s energy landscape while simultaneously altering its natural scenery. If situated improperly or developed without due consideration, these installations can exert significant impacts on local ecosystems, akin to those of any other large-scale land development project. To address this concern, the Georgia Wildlife Federation, in collaboration with a coalition of stakeholders ranging from solar providers to environmental organizations to state and federal agencies, established the Utility Scale Solar Siting Initiative. This initiative devised a set of recommended practices aimed at minimizing the ecological footprint of solar projects on surrounding resources.

At the recent Clean 13 Celebration hosted by the Georgia Water Coalition on April 30 in Monroe, GA, the Utility Scale Solar Siting Initiative, alongside 12 other Clean 13 Heroes, received accolades. The event, attended by over 125 individuals, provided a wonderful evening of fellowship, networking, and the sharing of inspiring narratives highlighting the commendable efforts of Georgians statewide who are actively engaged in conserving and safeguarding our waterways and natural treasures.

Utility Scale Solar Siting Initiative Partners include Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division and Environmental Protection Division, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Power Company, Green Power EMC, National Wild Turkey Federation, The Orianne Society, Quail Forever, Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy, the Turner Foundation, and others. For more information on the Initiative’s work, visit

Link to .pdf

About Georgia Wildlife Federation

Georgia Wildlife Federation was founded as a sportsman’s organization in 1936 and is Georgia’s oldest conservation organization. Today, members include hunters, anglers, bird watchers, hikers, educators, and all Georgians who are interested in preserving our natural resources and outdoor heritage.

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