The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), formerly the Solar Electric Power Association, has named Georgia Power to its annual Top 10 Utility Solar list. SEPA made the announcement Tuesday at the Utility Solar Conference in Denver. The annual list recognizes a select group of U.S. utilities for solar connections to the grid in the past year. According to the SEPA rankings, in 2015, 218 solar systems were installed in Georgia (total of 189 MWs) as a result of Georgia Power’s solar programs. The company was previously named 2014 Investor-Owned Utility of the Year by SEPA in recognition of the company’s successful solar development efforts.
“Our strategically planned and innovative programs are bringing solar generation to Georgia and, as part of an overall diverse generation mix, ensuring that electric customers continue to have the clean, reliable and affordable energy they need every day,” said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “We are honored to receive this recognition from SEPA.”
“We saw record installations of solar in 2015 across the United States. Our Top 10 survey results detail the scale of this growth, and the active role an increasing number of utilities are playing in it,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA’s President and CEO. “This growth is occurring not only in well-known solar markets such as California and Hawaii, but in unexpected pockets of solar activity, including Tennessee, Ohio and Georgia.”
Year after year, Georgia Power has worked to add solar to its generation portfolio through programs designed to prevent upward pressure on customer rates. In coordination with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC), thousands of new solar panels have been installed across Georgia as part of various progressive renewable energy programs, including the Advanced Solar Initiative (ASI) Prime program and five new on-base solar initiatives currently in progress with the U.S. Army and Department of the Navy.
Building on this multiyear momentum, Georgia Power has proposed 525 MW of new renewable generation by 2019 as part of its 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). In addition, the company has proposed new demonstration projects to further study wind and solar generation opportunities in the state.