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Georgia Power Looking to Add More Solar Power

August 19, 2010

Georgia Power Building

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Here is a GREAT article from the Atlanta Business Chronicle talking about the future of solar power in Georgia and how Georgia Power is looking to make it a major portion of it’s energy portfolio.  This will ultimately spark more residential solar installations and likely drive down the cost.   I’m personally thrilled to hear about this!

Georgia Power is expected to seek regulatory approval to increase the cap on the amount of solar power it buys from the private sector.

That increase is likely to spur solar installations at Georgia businesses and homes.

Georgia Power buys and sells solar power at a premium through its Green Energy program, which is capped at 2.5MW.

The utility hopes to boost the cap to 6.4MW, said Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission.

Georgia Power was tight-lipped on its plans, late Wednesday.

“We’re looking to help grow solar in Georgia and we’re going to have more details about our plans in the next few weeks,” a spokeswoman said.

McDonald, expected to disclose this news at the Southern Solar Summit in Atlanta on Thursday, said regulators will consider Georgia Power’s request by year-end.

Boosting the cap is an effort to diversify Georgia’s alternative energy portfolio, McDonald said. About 60 percent of electricity in Georgia is generated by coal, he noted.

Once the new cap is put in

solar

place, McDonald said, Georgia will lead 35 states and the District of Columbia in “cumulative solar capacity.”

Expanding the market for solar energy is likely to spur installations of solar panels, since more projects will get the financing, said Peter Marte, CEO of Hannah Solar, an Atlanta solar project developer.

Georgia Power pays 18.3 cents per kilowatt/hour for solar power it buys from the Green Energy program’s subscribers and sells the power at $4.50 per 100 kilowatt/hour blocks.

Mushrooming solar installations on roofs of warehouses and factories in the Peach State also benefits Georgia Power, Marte said, because it eases demand on the electric grid during peak hours.

“It’s a good thing for everybody,” Marte said. “It’s a total win, win, win.”

Read more: Georgia Power to seek more solar – Atlanta Business Chronicle
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