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Ted Turner plugs into solar carport revolution

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Ted Turner. [Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org]

Media mogul and billionaire Ted Turner is getting into solar carports and solar-powered EV charging stations.

The first phase of the “Luckie Street Solar Project” on a 2-acre parking lot Turner owns adjacent to Turner’s headquarters in Atlanta now has 14 separate solar canopies.

When completed, the total solar capacity of the project will be nearly 200 kilowatt hours. Georgia Power Co. has said that this project is the largest solar project that’s been installed in downtown Atlanta.

Turner’s headquarters house Turner Enterprises, the Turner Foundation, Ted Turner’s penthouse (which serves as his Atlanta residence) and Ted’s Montana Grill restaurant as well as the restaurant chain’s headquarters.

He wanted to prove the capability and set an example that it can be done.
--Taylor Glover, President, Turner Enterprises

Proving it can be done
“I wanted to do something solar right here in Atlanta as a demonstration project,” Turner told the Atlanta Business Chronicle in an interview. “It is an experiment and demonstration project. When the whole thing gets done, it’s going to power the building and the restaurant.”

According to the Chronicle, the solar project also will be able to provide the power for the recharging of electric cars parked in the lot.

“In the summer time, the cars get to park in the shade,” Turner told the Chronicle. “It’s using the sun, and that’s free. It helps us with our power.”

Turner had explored putting the panels on the roof of the Bona Allen building, but there was not enough structural support.

The total project is expected to cost about $1 million, not including the value of the land. The solar panels will minimize the heat-island effect of the parking lot.

Taylor Glover, president of Turner Enterprises, told the Chronicle that he remembered when Turner brought up the idea at one of their office meetings of turning the parking lot into a solar demonstration project.

“He wanted to prove the capability and set an example that it can be done,” Glover said.

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