The President, Peanut and Solar Farmer

Former President Jimmy Carter, who was once a peanut farmer, is branching out in his golden years, into renewable energy.

But it’s not the first time he’s tackled the idea. In 1979, Carter became the first United States President to install solar panels on the White House.
Thirty-two of them to be exact.
They were later taken down during the Reagan administration and now remain on display at The Smithsonian Institute, the Carter Library, and the Solar Science and Technology Museum in Dezhou, China.

After his presidency, he spent years building homes for those in need through Habitat for Humanity, but his passion for clean energy never left him, and eventually led him to a new project in his home town of Plains, Georgia.

As of 2021, Carter, still living in Plains, in a two-bedroom house with his wife, Rose, worked with Atlanta-based energy company SolAmerica, to install nearly 4,000 solar panels across ten acres of his farm.

This land, which was once occupied by soybeans and peanuts, now generates over a megawatt of energy. That’s enough to keep the lights on for 400 to 900 homes, which covers nearly half the power needs of his hometown’s 727 residents. This renewable power replaces the equivalent of 3,600 tons of coal.

“Distributed, clean energy generation is critical to meeting growing energy needs around the world,” Carter says. “I am encouraged by the tremendous progress that solar and other clean energy solutions have made in recent years and expect those trends to continue.”

This ambitious project pays homage to Carter’s lifetime commitment to renewable energy and his own humble roots.

At the age of 96, Jimmy Carter continues to work on projects in Georgia and around the world, proving to us all that it’s never too late and
you’re never too old to change the world.