To celebrate National Solar Appreciation Day this year, Georgia Power is reminding customers of the resources and programs available to help them connect with the benefits of renewable and solar energy – even if they are unable to install solar.
The company already has one of the largest voluntary renewable portfolios in the country and expects to continue as a leader in solar energy production by growing its renewable generation by more than 72% by 2025, which will increase the company's total renewable resources to 22 % of its already diverse portfolio. Georgia Power works with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to develop and expand cost-effective renewable energy resources, including solar, and introduce renewable programs, products and services to benefit all customers.
"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," said Tray Leslie, Georgia Power renewable development manager of customer engagement. "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."
Georgia Power plans to add 2,260 megawatts (MW) of renewables to its already diverse energy mix by 2025. Solar is expected to make up a majority of the company's renewable resource growth. The company currently has more than 2,500 megawatts (MW)* of renewable resources online. Combined with the renewable programs approved through the company's 2019 Integrated Resource Plan, the company plans to have approximately 5,400MW* of renewable energy resources in its portfolio by the end of 2025, comprising 22 percent of the company's generation mix.
Solar Programs and Services
Georgia Power's renewable development offerings include innovative customer programs such as Community Solar, Simple Solar, the Customer Renewable Supply Procurement (CSRP) and Customer-Connected Solar Program (CCSP). The company offers a full range of programs and services to provide customers options for using solar energy to power their homes and businesses:
• 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.
Maximizing Renewable Growth
The company is also working to maximize the value of renewable energy for customers through researching battery energy storage systems. As approved in the 2019 IRP, the company will own and operate 80 MW of battery energy storage systems, which will help position Georgia as a leader in storage in the Southeast. This will allow the company to demonstrate the deployment, integration, and operation of storage to gain valuable insight into how to maximize the value of storage for customers. Additionally, the Georgia Power Smart Neighborhood also serves as a research opportunity to gain insights and learnings on the interactions between behind-the-meter rooftop solar, in-home battery storage, energy efficiency measures, and our electric grid.
Solar Installations Across the State
As part of its diverse generation mix, Georgia Power is committed to using reliable, cost-effective, renewable energy sources that work best in Georgia. Solar installations have been developed across the state, including solar projects in collaboration with the U.S. military, universities, and others to capture the current market benefits of solar for all customers. Examples of installations include:
• 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.