The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), formerly the Solar Electric Power Association, announced recently that it has named Georgia Power to its annual Top 10 Utility Solar list. The annual list, released at the Utility Solar Conference in Tucson, Arizona, recognizes a select group of U.S. utilities for solar connections to the grid in 2016. Georgia Power ranked 10th in 2015 and advanced to 5th among 412 utilities in 2016. Solar systems installed in Georgia in 2016 as a result of Georgia Power’s solar programs totaled 553 megawatts.
“We are proud to be recognized once again by SEPA as an industry leader in advancing renewable energy for our customers,” said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of Renewable Development for Georgia Power. “We have focused on growing solar and other renewable generation sources in coordination with the Georgia Public Service Commission and the solar industry in a way that ensures reliability, diversifies our energy mix and helps keep our rates low for customers.””One of the reasons we started the Utility Solar Top 10 lists back in 2007 was to highlight the key, but often unrecognized role utilities were taking in putting new solar on the grid,” said SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm. “At this pivotal moment in the U.S. energy transition, the industry leaders on this year’s Top 10 lists — such as Georgia Power — will continue to be critical to the growth of solar, storage and other distributed energy resources on the grid.”
Year after year, Georgia Power has worked with the Georgia PSC to add solar to its generation portfolio through diverse and innovative programs designed to prevent putting upward pressure on customer rates. Customer-focused programs include the recently introduced Simple Solar option for customers who want to support solar energy, but are unable or choose not to install a solar system at their home or business, as well as a rooftop solar education, consultation and installation service. Georgia Power’s renewable development strategy also includes large-scale, competitive solar solicitations such as the Advanced Solar Initiative (ASI) and Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI). Millions of solar panels have been installed across Georgia as part of Georgia Power programs, including the ASI as well as five new on-base solar initiatives with the U.S. Army and Department of the Navy.
With one of the largest voluntary renewable portfolios in the nation, Georgia Power now has 855 MW* of solar capacity in operation, with accelerating growth year over year since 2013. Through implementation of the new REDI, approved by the PSC in 2016, as well as other solar projects and programs, the company expects to add up to 1,600 MW of additional renewable capacity by 2021. To learn more about Georgia Power’s solar programs, including a variety of solar tools and resources for customers, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com/Solar. To learn more about SEPA, visit www.sepapower.org. * REC Disclaimer: Every megawatt hour of electricity produced by an eligible solar generation resource creates a Renewable Energy Credit (REC). 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 RECs is specified in each respective power purchase agreement. The party that owns the RECs retains the right to use them.