Georgia Power Celebrates Inaugural Community Solar Project

Georgia Power has dedicated the first of two planned solar facilities to supply the utility’s new Community Solar program. The 2 MW solar project, comprised of 8,200 panels and covering more than 10 acres in northeast Georgia, will deliver energy for the new program which gives subscribers a bill credit based on actual solar energy production at the facility.

Leaders from Georgia Power, Georgia Public Service Commissioners Lauren “Bubba” McDonald and Tim Echols, and community and business leaders marked the occasion at a special event in Comer, Ga.

“Collaboration between Georgia Power, the Georgia Public Service Commission, solar companies and communities across the state have helped continue to position Georgia as a national solar leader,” says Greg Roberts, vice president pricing and planning for Georgia Power. “Community Solar is the latest addition to a variety of Georgia Power programs that give customers the flexibility to choose how they want to support the growth of solar energy in our state.”

Although the Community Solar program launches in January 2018, Georgia Power opened pre-enrollment for interested customers in October. In addition to the newly dedicated Comer facility, the company plans to construct another 1 MW facility to supply the program in another part of the state.

Designed in coordination with and approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission, the Community Solar program is ideal for residential customers who want to support solar, especially those who are unable to install a solar PV system at their homes, including renters and condominium owners, or homeowners with shaded roof space or restrictive covenants.

The utility says participation in the program will cost $24.99 per 1 kW block per month in exchange for a monthly credit based on a solar facility’s production. Customers are limited to their estimated monthly energy usage – and a maximum of 10 1-kW blocks, with a total of 3,000 blocks available for subscription. The solar production of a 1 kW subscription block will vary due to season, number of cloudy days and other factors, but it is estimated to be in the range of 130 kWh to 240 kWh per month.

Georgia Power’s renewable development strategy includes customer programs such as Simple Solar, as well as large-scale initiatives such as the Advanced Solar Initiative and Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI). The company says it currently has approximately 900 MW of solar capacity in operation, with accelerating growth year-over-year since 2013. Through continued expansion of solar at Georgia military bases, implementation of the new REDI, as well as other solar projects and programs, the company expects to add up to 1,600 MW of additional renewable capacity by 2021.

4 COMMENTS

  1. How could you post this article without including an opinion or something about the pricing on this program. I assume you received a media release from GA Power and just copied from the release with no thought as to what you were putting your name on. With such an erroneous statement as, “The solar production of a 1 kW subscription block will vary due to season, number of cloudy days and other factors, but it is estimated to be in the range of 130 kWh to 240 kWh per month.” Unless they have found some secret way to super power their systems it is practically impossible to get anywhere near that stated production, even on the low side. In my opinion, a 1kw DC panel system would hardly produce 130 kWh/month and that’s even with near perfect sun resource. It’s all about the money and I’m pretty sure that the PSC knows it since they approved this program.

    • I hear you Peter. Everyone seems to be afraid to stand up to the PSC and GA Power. If all interested parties, including local governments, would talk about this we would have a chance of getting legislation we need. Hope you’re doing well.

  2. Georgia Power wants to spread the FALSE message that solar is more expensive than conventional power sources. They reap benefits from installing utility scale solar farms but pass none of the benefits to the rate payers. I wish we had people here in Georgia like the ones in Nevada who came out in droves to tell their Public Utilities Commission “NO” to changing net-metering laws. Georgia Power and our PSC is holding the behind-the-meter solar industry hostage with anti-solar politics and it is WRONG.

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