Plans Moving Forward For Huge Solar Farm In McDavid

July 2, 2019

A huge solar farm project planned for McDavid is moving forward through the permitting process with a new name. was first to report last December that 74.5 megawatt facility was planned for West Bogia Road. At that time, it was dubbed the “Escambia County Solar Energy Center” on 541 acres. Now, documents filed with Escambia County are calling the project the Gulf Power Cotton Creek Solar Energy Center on about 640 acres. Only 353.18 acres will be disturbed.

The development is planned for an area north of West Bogia Road between South Pine Barren Road and Highway 29. A small portion of the property includes land north and south of West Bogia Road, surrounding Ray’s Chapel Baptist Church, but Gulf Power says there will be no development south of West Bogia Road.

There are currently no homes on the project property.

A majority of the area is owned by RMS Timberlands and is zoned as agriculture.

No water or sewer infrastructure will be necessary to serve the development, and no habitable space will be constructed. The facility will be monitored remotely and will not require onsite personnel for day-to-day operation, but personnel will occasionally visit the site to conduct required maintenance activities, according to previously filed documents.

The Escambia County Development Review Committee will consider an initial application for the updated project at a meeting Wednesday afternoon.

At 74.2 megawatts, the Cotton Creek Solar Energy Center will be the largest in Gulf Power’s solar generation portfolio. By comparison, Gulf Power’s largest solar field at Saufley Field is 50 megawatts, enough to power almost 7,400 homes.

Pictured top: This drawing shows rows and  rows of solar panels planned for the Gulf Power Cotton Creek Solar Energy Center. Pictured below: The project is planned for hundreds of acres north of West Bogia Road. Images for


17 Responses to “Plans Moving Forward For Huge Solar Farm In McDavid”

  1. Larry on July 3rd, 2019 5:51 pm

    It will be cheap power for gulf power customers but this area is powered by rea electric Corp put it in their area

  2. mic hall on July 3rd, 2019 7:45 am

    I feel sorry for the the animals that would have lived on the land. They will have to deal with poisons used on the ground to prevent weeds from growing up and obstructing the panels.

    It is common practice as part of maintenance to spray VERY strong defoliant under the panels to keep plants from growing up on the panels. That makes the area dangerous for animals and a risk for runoff and groundwater.

    The best place for panels is on buildings or covered parking lots. It is easy to ignore the reality of panel farms and wind farms. Almost as easy as ignoring the damage by coal power plants.

  3. nod on July 2nd, 2019 2:05 pm

    If renewable energy is so cheap, why do we have to pay more to use it. Prices will not go down and a lot of people will lose jobs.

  4. CW on July 2nd, 2019 1:41 pm

    Are they only going to use the areas that are already cleared? It looks like there’s a lot of wetlands on that property that likely are home to a lot of wildlife.

    I’m not opposed to solar farms, but I really wish they’d find some old farmland or something and not disturb natural areas. I think there’s also opportunities to use solar panels to create covered parking at places like Walmart and Publix.

  5. William Reynolds on July 2nd, 2019 12:51 pm

    >>This map is totally out of context. The property goes from Bogia Rd to Cotton Creek ,not to 164

    This map is NOT out of context. It is directly from the development application paperwork and shows the entire property under review.

  6. Henry Coe on July 2nd, 2019 12:36 pm

    Who does it benefit? Anyone who likes to breath clean air and likes renewable energy sources. Strip mining for coal is bad, m’kay.

    The biggest issue with solar has been in the area of being able to store unused energy. i.e. batteries. We have come a long way with batteries.

    As far as a solar panels ability to survive a Cat 4, the solar arrays are movable so they should be able to be turned like a sailboat turning up wind for low resistance against the wind. There will always be damage in a Cat 4 but it will likely be minimized by planning and to include the area is like 50 miles from the coast.
    If Gulf Power needs more money to rebuild after a hurricane, I’m sure they will just start digging deep in our pockets until they have found enough, but that wouldn’t be any different than any other year.
    If they generate and can sell enough power from the solar array then having it is cost effective.
    I think they should come up with a way to have a solar panel on top of every telephone pole. They could do that without having to buy any property.

  7. Lighthorse on July 2nd, 2019 11:29 am

    This map is totally out of context. The property goes from Bogia Rd to Cotton Creek ,not to 164

  8. Edward on July 2nd, 2019 11:07 am

    This will benefit everyone but calls it will mean less coal burnt at the main power plant. I wish gulf power would subsidize solar panels on customers houses

  9. Susan on July 2nd, 2019 10:47 am

    Good. Also RIF…re: “this will benefit who” comment. Solar is clean energy and will power homes etc. Clean energy and not another chicken finger place or nail salon?—-put those towers everywhere.

  10. Wilykyote on July 2nd, 2019 10:25 am

    10,000 homes is nice addition. Does nightfall , rain, cloud
    cover etc. greatly affect production ? Seems way better than
    Nuclear,coal,natural gas or wood fuels to make electricity.
    Probably very quiet for surrounding neighbors of the Solar
    Farm. Most likely a fair amount of maintenance will occur
    for peak productivity. Would all that Sunlight accumulation
    create an increase in temperatures near the Solar Farm ?

  11. Rasheed Jackson on July 2nd, 2019 10:16 am

    In response to Sam’s question.
    It will benefit Gulf Power. Why else would they build it. It’s part of the renewable energy policy that the power companies have to comply with. With that said it will be a cheap source of energy, seems like a step in the right direction. Better than a Nuke plant being built up here.

  12. Rex S on July 2nd, 2019 9:58 am

    @ Sam: Uh..the planet?

  13. nofool on July 2nd, 2019 9:28 am

    So, this should cut cost for Gulf Power by reducing fuel costs, etc… Yet, we have to pay a surcharge to help offset damage by a hurricane that NextEra knew and was aware when they bought Gulf Power. Who will this benefit, NextEra CEO will probably get a nice bonus.

  14. J.M. Trudel on July 2nd, 2019 9:24 am

    Such great news! So exciting that it’s right in my “backyard”!!!…lol Good one Mr. Fred

  15. CW on July 2nd, 2019 9:20 am

    I’m curious what kind of winds those things can handle? Will a cat 4 hurricane make a huge mess of them?

  16. Fred Garvin on July 2nd, 2019 8:24 am

    Now, if we could just find a way to convert humidity into electricity…

  17. sam on July 2nd, 2019 6:20 am

    and this will benefit who?

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.