Georgia Power has added 970 megawatts (MW*) of solar capacity in Georgia in recent years and plans to continue this renewable energy growth throughout 2018. A national leader in developing cost-effective renewable energy resources to serve customers, Georgia Power works with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to introduce new renewable programs, products and services to benefit all customers. Most recently under these programs, Georgia Power awarded power purchase agreements for 510 MW of new solar projects to be built as part of the company’s Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI). The three projects will be developed in Central, South and Southwest Georgia and represent the largest individual solar projects in state history.
“Renewable energy, including solar developments of all sizes in all parts of the state, plays an important role in the diverse generation mix we use to serve customers,” said Wilson Mallard, director of Renewable Development for Georgia Power. “As we continue to grow renewable resources in 2018 and beyond, we’re focused on ensuring that every project that comes online helps us keep energy reliable and affordable for our customers, today and in the future.”
Under the REDI program, First Solar, through its subsidiary Twiggs County Solar LLC, entered into a PPA with Georgia Power and will build a 200 MW solar installation on 2,000 acres of land in Twiggs County near Warner Robins, with anticipated completion in 2019. It is expected to be the largest stand-alone photovoltaic solar plant in the southeastern United States. Additionally, Invenergy Solar Development North America, through its subsidiary Camilla Solar Energy LLC, is working with Georgia Power to build a 160 MW solar project in Camilla, near Albany. A third REDI PPA was also approved; NextEra Energy Resources, through its subsidiary Quitman Solar LLC, will build a 150 MW project in Quitman, near Valdosta.
These new projects were selected from competing bids submitted to Georgia Power’s 2017 REDI Request for Proposal process. This competitive process, a key element in multiple Georgia Power programs, helps ensure that new renewable projects do not put upward pressure on customer rates.
Georgia Power also continues to collaborate with the U.S. military to identify opportunities to grow renewable energy and secure the state’s military installations. Large-scale military solar projects have been built over the past several years and are currently in service at Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, Fort Stewart, SUBASE Kings Bay and the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. In 2017, Georgia Power announced a new 139-MW solar project at Robins Air Force Base, which is expected to break ground in 2018. Additionally, the company is working with the University System of Georgia through the development of two large scale solar projects at Fort Valley State University and Georgia College and State University. These two university projects will assist with broadening student expertise and knowledge about renewable development as the solar industry continues to grow in Georgia.
*REC Disclaimer: Georgia Power purchases only the null energy output from some renewable generating facilities that have contracted to sell that energy to Georgia Power. Ownership of the associated renewable energy credits ("RECs") is specified in each respective power purchase agreement. The party that owns the RECs retains the right to use them.
Future Solar Growth
Through implementation of its various renewable programs approved by the Georgia PSC through the end of 2017, Georgia Power expects to add up to 1,600 MW of additional renewable energy by 2021. Through approved programs and projects, Georgia Power is committed to helping all customers meet their renewable energy needs. Most recently, the company introduced Community Solar, a program for residential customers that gives subscribers a bill credit based on actual solar energy production at Georgia Power’s Community Solar facilities. To learn more about Georgia Power’s optional subscription programs such as Community Solar and also Simple Solar, as well as solar tools and resources, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com/Solar.