Georgia Power and Atlanta-based Solar Design & Development (SD&D) have collaborated to develop and install around the state a series of solar projects totaling 19 megawatts (MW) – Georgia Power’s first retail utility-scale solar power development. When complete, the projects will more than double Georgia’s solar production.
Upson County was chosen to be part of the project earlier this year when the Board of Commissioners approved rezoning for land owned by David Pittman, located near Glenwood Drive and Rocky Creek Road. Pittman entered into an agreement with Georgia Power to allow a solar farm on 10 acres of his 28-acre tract. Solar panels will be installed to harness the renewable energy source over the next 20 years.
“We are very excited that Georgia Power wanted to partner with our community when they could have chosen any other county in the state,” said Commission Chairman Maurice Raines. “They have gone above and beyond to make sure the neighbors of the farm are pleased and we couldn’t be happier. This is another feather Upson County can put in our cap for the good things happening in our community.”
The 19 MW of solar capacity, part of Georgia Power’s 50 MW large-scale solar initiative approved last year by the Georgia Public Service Commission, will be added to the company’s growing renewable energy portfolio. Georgia Power has contracted to purchase the output for the next 20 years.
In addition, Georgia Power awarded SD&D a 1 MW contract under the company’s solar request for proposals (RFP) issued in May 2011. Solar resources from this RFP will supply Georgia Power’s subscriber-based Green Energy program, bringing the total capacity in the program to 5.4 MW. The 1 MW plant on 10 acres in Upson County, Ga., recently became operational and is now providing enough power to supply the electrical needs of approximately 300 homes.
“The partnership with Solar Design & Development will help to fulfill the objective of expanding the role of solar energy in Georgia Power’s generation portfolio,” said Ervan Hancock III, Georgia Power’s Renewable and Green Strategy manager. “Georgia Power remains committed to increasing the use of cost-effective, renewable resources that provide value for our customers.”
“We appreciate the opportunity to bring economically responsible renewable energy to Georgia without negatively affecting customers,” said Bradley Francis, president of Solar Design & Development.
Origis Energy has long-term ownership of the developments together with SD&D. Origis develops, finances and operates utility-scale solar plants across Europe and the U.S. The SD&D facilities are among the first of what Origis hopes will be a large portfolio of photovoltaic (PV) plants in the U.S.