Georgia Power and Solar Design & Development form alliance on utility-scale solar projects

02. July 2012 | By:  Georgia Power

Projects totaling 20 MW will more than double Georgia's solar production.

Georgia Power and Atlanta-based Solar Design & Development (SD&D) have collaborated to develop and install around the state a series of solar projects totaling 19 megawatts (MW) – Georgia Power's first retail utility-scale solar power development.  When complete, the projects will more than double Georgia's solar production.

The 19 MW of solar capacity, part of Georgia Power's 50 MW large-scale solar initiative approved last year by the Georgia Public Service Commission, will be added to the company's growing renewable energy portfolio. Georgia Power has contracted to purchase the output for the next 20 years.

In addition, Georgia Power awarded SD&D a 1 MW contract under the company's solar request for proposals (RFP) issued in May 2011.  Solar resources from this RFP will supply Georgia Power's subscriber-based Green Energy program, bringing the total capacity in the program to 5.4 MW. The 1 MW plant on 10 acres in Upson County, Ga., recently became operational and is now providing enough power to supply the electrical needs of approximately 300 homes.

"The partnership with Solar Design & Development will help to fulfill the objective of expanding the role of solar energy in Georgia Power's generation portfolio," said Ervan Hancock III, Georgia Power's Renewable and Green Strategy manager.  "Georgia Power remains committed to increasing the use of cost-effective, renewable resources that provide value for our customers."

"We appreciate the opportunity to bring economically responsible renewable energy to Georgia without negatively affecting customers," said Bradley Francis, president of Solar Design & Development.

Upcoming phases, which break ground soon, include projects on 33 acres in Meriwether County and 150 acres in Mitchell County.  In addition to providing renewable energy to Georgia, the $60 million worth of projects bring up to $20 million in federal funding to the state.

In this first phase, SD&D relied on service providers, equipment manufacturers and solar installation contractors that are either based in Georgia, or have a strong Georgia presence. These include Reznick Group; Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP; Shoals Technologies Group; Radiance Solar and Cantsink Manufacturing.

"Everyone on the SD&D team is from Georgia," Francis added.  "We are entirely committed to providing financially viable clean energy to our home state and the Southeast."

Origis Energy has long-term ownership of the developments together with SD&D. Origis develops, finances and operates utility-scale solar plants across Europe and the U.S. The SD&D facilities are among the first of what Origis hopes will be a large portfolio of photovoltaic (PV) plants in the U.S.