More Solar Coming to Georgia! Is it Becoming a Less-Hidden Solar Market?

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Origis Energy announces two utility-scale solar power plants coming online in Georgia under Large-Scale Solar Initiative. in Georgia. The installations, with a combined capacity of 23.5 MW, will generate enough power annually for nearly 6,000 homes.

 

 

We’re seeing a lot of solar news from Georgia these days. After some battles (and wins!) in the state last year over proposed fees for solar and how much solar capacity to require, a Republican representative recently introduced a bill to legalize solar leases in Georgia. And the state has enough potential for solar growth that last year, GTM Research identified it as the best overall emerging solar market in the country.

Now we’re hearing about some large-scale solar coming online in the state. Today, Origis Energy, an investment and development firm that works on utility-scale and DG commercial solar PV systems, announced the completion of two solar power plants in Georgia. The installations are the state’s second largest, with a combined capacity of 23.5 MW. Their 78,160 solar PV panels will generate enough power annually for nearly 6,000 homes.

They will deliver energy to Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, which is one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity. Georgia Power entered into a Power Purchase Agreement for the projects with Origis Energy.

 

“We are pleased to see these solar facilities coming online as part of our Large-Scale Solar Initiative,” said Ervan Hancock, renewable implementation manager for Georgia Power. “Georgia has one of the fastest growing and most competitive solar markets in the nation. Through agreements with developers like Origis Energy, which allow us to cultivate cost-effective solar energy for our customers, we anticipate more than 500 new solar projects across the state will be brought online in the coming years.”

 

The Large-Scale Solar (LSS) Initiative was launched in July of 2011, when the Georgia Public Service Commission approved Georgia Power’s plan to buy up to 50 MW of solar power by 2015. It came without a regulatory requirement, and it was meant to put no additional upward pressure on electricity rates. In 2012, Georgia Power added its Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI) and the 2013 ASI-Prime Initiative. Combined, those programs will add another 735 MW of solar energy to the state. All told, Georgia Power’s programs are expected to add almost 800 MW of solar capacity when fully implemented. That adds up to one of the largest solar portfolios in the nation, and the the largest voluntary one.

 

“These solar power installations represent significant progress for adoption of solar power in Georgia and the entire Southeast,” said Guy Vanderhaegen, president of Origis Energy. “We are proud to be involved with such groundbreaking solar energy projects with Georgia Power. Origis Energy will continue to increase its solar footprint in the U.S., which by the end of 2016, should reach an installed capacity of roughly 300 MW of solar assets.”