Georgia Power is rolling out a new voluntary solar energy program known as Simple Solar for customers who want to support solar energy development but do not want to (or can’t) install a rooftop solar system on their homes. Signing up is simple. Just go to GeorgiaPower.com/SimpleSolar, fill in some basic account information, and click the right button. You’re done. Participants agree to pay 1¢ per kilowatt-hour over and above the standard rate for electricity.
“This initiative is the latest evolution of our efforts to advance renewable energy in the state while also creating economical services and solutions for customers who want to help grow solar energy,” said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of renewable development for Georgia Power. “Solar energy continues to offer tremendous potential for powering Georgia and we are committed to helping our customers find the solar option that works best for them.”
The interesting thing is that solar is largely now cheaper than everything except wind in the United States, which makes it odd that you have to pay a premium for it, but hey, maybe we’re missing something. Perhaps it is just that getting electricity from new power plants — whatever the source — means not using/paying for electricity from old, non-solar power plants?
The Simple Solar program was designed in cooperation with the Georgia Public Service Commission to encourage solar development. GPSC has approved the plan. Georgia Power uses the 1¢ per kilowatt-hour fee to purchase renewable energy credits from certified solar generation sources. Because purchases are tied to subscriptions, customers who volunteer are directly supporting the growth of solar and solar generators throughout the region.
Simple Solar has several subscription tiers available including Large Volume and Special Event purchase options. Hundreds of residential and business customers have already subscribed. Toto USA is a Georgia manufacturer known for its sustainability efforts and renewable goals. It was the first customer to match 100% of its monthly usage through the Large Volume option.
“We are pleased to increase our commitment to match 100% of our usage through Georgia Power Simple Solar,” says Bill Strang, president of operations and e-commerce for the company. “Our partnership with Georgia Power allows us to provide both a return on investment with cost effective electricity and a return on environment with sustainable solar energy.” Georgia Power expects to add up to 1,600 MW of additional renewable energy capacity by 2021.
Georgia is an excellent candidate for solar power. Former president Jimmy Carter recently announced that he is installing a large community solar system on leased land to benefit his local community. Who’s next? Maybe Akon?
Source: Solar Power World | Image Credit: Georgia Power