On National Solar Appreciation Day, Georgia Power announced that it is adding 2,260 megawatts (MW) of renewables to its energy mix by 2025. The company noted that solar is expected to make up a majority of its renewable resource growth and that currently it has more than 2,500 MW of renewable resources online.
Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company and has 2.6 million customers. It is in all but four of Georgia’s 159 counties. The company’s renewable management developer of customer engagement, Tray Leslie, stated, “Solar energy is a valuable part of our diverse generation portfolio at Georgia Power, and we’ve worked closely with the Georgia Public Service Commission to bring solar to our state and our customers in a way that protects reliability, further diversifies our energy mix, and keeps rates low.” She added that, “From our installation options to our programs for customers who can’t or don’t want to install solar, we are helping make solar available to all Georgia Power customers.”
In addition to the renewable programs that were approved through Georgia Power’s 2019 Integrated Resource Plan, it plans to have around 5,400 MW of renewable energy resources in its portfolio by the end of 2025, which will comprise 22% of its generation mix.
The company’s renewable development offerings include programs such as Community Solar, Simple Solar, Customer Renewable Supply Procurement (CSRP), and the Customer-Connected Solar Program (CCSP). Georgia Power also has a full range of programs and services for its customers to choose from for the use of solar energy to power their lives. That list is as follows:
- Solar rooftop installation — For customers who want to install their own personal solar rooftop generation system, Georgia Power offers a solar education, consultation, and installation service, provides interconnection assistance, and has options to give customers credit for the energy they send back to the power grid.
- Community Solar — Customers who sign up for Community Solar enjoy similar benefits as residential customers who own solar panels. Community Solar allows you to support the development of solar power in Georgia by subscribing to a portion of local solar farms. Your family then receives energy credits on your monthly bill based on the solar farm’s production.
- Simple Solar — Simple Solar gives any interested Georgia Power customer, residential or business, the ability to purchase certified Renewable Energy Credits to match a percentage of their monthly energy usage.
- Customer Renewable Supply Procurement — This program allows commercial and industrial (C&I) customers to support their sustainability initiatives. Georgia Power will procure new renewable generation through power purchase agreements (PPAs) for subscription by C&I customers.
- Customer-Connected Solar Program — This program allows customers to partner with any solar developer to build a solar facility on or adjacent to the customer’s property. Georgia Power will purchase 100% of the energy generated.
Georgia Power plans to maximize the value of renewable energy by roping in battery energy storage systems as well. It was approved in the 2019 IRP to own and operate 80 MW of battery energy storage systems. This will help position the company as a leader in storage in the Southeast and allow it to demonstrate the deployment, integration, and operation of storage. In turn, this will allow the company to gain valuable insight into maximizing the value of storage for its customers.
The company also noted some solar projects that the company has collaborated on with entities such as the U.S. military, universities, and others. Examples of these installations are as follows:
- Large-scale military solar projects currently in service at Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, Fort Stewart, SUBASE Kings Bay, the Marine Corps Logistics Base, and Moody Air Force Base, with solar at Robins Air Force Base set to come online this spring.
- A large-scale solar project under development at Fort Valley State University for the University System of Georgia.
- Solar facilities located in Comer, Waynesboro and Guyton, Georgia, support the company’s Community Solar program.
- Installation of 4,000 solar panels at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta. Installed to help the stadium achieve LEED Platinum status, these panels help provide power for the stadium.
The company has a dedicated website for those wanting to learn about its solar programs, solar tools, and resources for its customers. You can access that page here.