Georgia Power launches new solar partnership with corporations

Growing corporate demand for renewable energy in Georgia is contributing to growth in the state’s solar industry, as major companies turn to cost-effective, carbon-free energy options to meet their energy needs.

To meet the demand, Georgia Power has launched an initiative to supply solar power directly to commercial and industrial customers in the state through the Commercial & Industrial Renewable Energy Development Initiative (C&I REDI) approved last year by the state.

The utility’s new solar initiative, to supply 177 megawatts of power was approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission last year. It provided a green light for the construction of two solar energy plants in Albany and Camilla, Georgia through agreements with NextEra Energy Resources and Origis Energy.

Through the agreement, Georgia Power will pass energy costs from the two plants directly to Google, Johnson and Johnson, Target and Walmart in a contract spanning ten years.

According to Georgia Power, operations at the plants are set to begin in 2019 and 2020.

“This program demonstrates our ongoing commitment to responsibly procure renewable energy resources to meet our customers’ evolving energy needs, while ensuring reliable and affordable energy for millions of Georgians every day,” said Wilson Mallard, director of Renewable Development for Georgia Power.

Google sees the step by Georgia Power, the first of its kind in the state, as a way to meet the growing demand for energy options besides natural gas.

“What we’ve accomplished in partnership with Georgia Power and other major corporate energy buyers in the region is a testament to the important role that businesses can play in unlocking access to renewable energy, ” Google said in a statement.

The agreement, which was two years in the works, is in line with Google’s goal to use renewable energy in every market it operates in.

Through the initiative, Google will light its data center in Douglas County with 78.8 megawatts of solar.

“Providing a cost-competitive, fixed-price clean power option is not only good for the environment, it also makes business sense,” the company added.

The tech-giant is also pursuing a similar agreement for its new data center that just broke ground in Alabama, through a partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The latest turn towards renewables highlights a market trend in which big companies are implemeting measures to fulfill their energy needs, while reducing carbon emmissions and cutting their costs. This week, Apple announced that all its global operations were powered by 100 percent renewables.

Data from the Solar Foundation shows 4,310 people are employed in the the solar industry in Georgia. The state recorded a 10 percent job growth in the industry in 2017 and the Solar Foundation projects an additional 0.8 percent job growth this year. The state’s job growth in solar grew consistently in the last three years, despite a decrease in national growth last year.

175,138 homes in the state are powered by solar. The state’s solar capacity stands at 1,566 megawatts.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

Is active or passive investing best? You may be surprised
Is active or passive investing best? You may be surprised

It’s hard to believe, but we’re more than halfway through 2018. So far, it’s been a year of market ups and downs. We’ve endured a correction, experienced a rebound, and are now back closer to flat. The recent choppiness makes this a good time to revisit the great debate between active and passive investing. Last year, an email...
Atlanta company eyeing sports betting industry outside Georgia
Atlanta company eyeing sports betting industry outside Georgia

When Inside Injuries launched in 2016, the company was intended to supply fantasy sports players and companies with injury analysis on top players across sports, CEO Tracy Hankin said. Sports betting wasn’t in the company’s sights. A Supreme Court ruling in May, which struck down a federal law outlawing sports betting outside of Nevada...
No, you don’t need a perfect score to be an exceptional borrower

WASHINGTON — I have been told many times that I’m a perfectionist, but I feel that I’m not perfect enough for such a label. Yet it’s true that my life is driven by a relentless report-card-like quest for excellence. This is why I understand people with super-high FICO credit scores who seethe that they have yet to get a perfect...
Man fired after encounter with 'racist' customer. After sharing story, Home Depot offers job back.
Man fired after encounter with 'racist' customer. After sharing story, Home Depot offers job back.

After a man last Thursday approached the checkout at a Home Depot in Albany, New York, staff member Maurice Rucker asked him to leash his dog. That's when the man exploded. » RELATED: Atlanta's Home Depot growing in various ways, but not new stores Rucker, a 60-year-old black man, claimed he was fired Tuesday after defending himself from...
Peach problem: Georgia fruits clobbered again
Peach problem: Georgia fruits clobbered again

Uncooperative weather has taken a jumbo bite out of the Peach State’s peach crop , a second year of pain for growers of the iconic fruit. And similar hardship appears to have eliminated half Georgia’s more lucrative blueberry yield. The difficult years have left Atlanta shoppers in the produce aisle facing the prospect of paying...
More Stories