The sun is finally shining in Georgia — at least when it comes to large solar installations. Sunny days have brought visions of solar power to this southern state, with new RFPs for solar and recognition by SEPA.
Solar is certainly becoming an energy peach in Georgia. According to The Solar Foundation, solar jobs in Georgia increased 225% between November 2012 and November 2013, ranking Georgia 17th nationally. This accounted for the largest increase in solar jobs in the country. In fact, the 90 MW of solar that Georgia added last year brought the state to 7th in installations in 2013, according to Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Georgia Power recently issued a request for proposal for 495 MW of new solar by the end of the month. 425 MW of the requested amount was approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission last summer as part of the 2013 Georgia Power Company Integrated Resource Plan, and 70 MW as part of the utility’s Advanced Solar Initiative in November of 2012. The commission is expected to make a decision regarding the RFP before the end of the year. The new solar power capacity is expected to go online in 2015 and 2016, and could bring Georgia close to 800 MW of solar. That could potentially take Georgia from one of the nation’s lowest providers of solar into the top 5. An interesting twist to the proposal is that it must come in under current energy costs.
Georgia Power will even be recognized by the Solar Electric Power Association for the first time. In the Seventh Annual Utility Solar Rankings Publication, to be released April 28, Georgia Power will be listed as a top ten producer of solar energy. For a state that has had as many roadblocks as Georgia in the past, this is quite an accomplishment.
It seems to be true. The future of solar in Georgia is so bright, we may just have to wear … shades.
Note: Watch this site for future articles on residential solar in Georgia, where the story is a bit different.