Getting peachy with solar in Georgia

Solar on a home in the eastern USIn Georgia, the peach state, Georgia Power has just launched a new peachy keen channel on its site that will help residents and small businesses go solar easier. The channel introduces Georgians to tools that show them what the opportunity for solar is, how much it will cost them and how much savings they can expect.

The program was developed to help the company, a subsidiary of Southern Co., enhance its solar presence and to help customers learn more about solar power. It educates customers about how solar works and helps them determine if solar is a viable option. It has a decision maker calculator, which is a tool that helps them determine the costs and benefits of a solar array, according to Georgia Power spokesperson John Kraft. The other tools help with other aspects of going solar like: “What are the things I need to know or consider about solar.…And links to additional information if it looks like a good deal for the home or business,” he said. “It links to our solar consultants throughout the state. They can address issues beyond what you have that are available on the web site.”

While Georgia does not have a mandate or renewable portfolio standard in place that requires utilities like Georgia Power to offer incentives particularly for solar but the utility was responding in part to customers. “Obviously customers are interested,” Kraft said. “There’s a growing interest in solar energy and we wanted to give them the tools to see if it makes sense.”

While the company isn’t offering new incentives for solar as part of the site, customers in Georgia can net-meter their systems under the state’s distributed generation requirements passed about 10 years ago, according to Kraft. “The Georgia Public Service Commission instructed us to pursue a program that would offer green energy [incentives to customers],” he said. 

Meanwhile the company also is upping it’s large-scale solar projects. “2015 is when we’re looking to have up to 50 megawatts of solar power,” Kraft said. The company also has a 5.4 megawatt subscriber-based green energy program, wherein customers can buy into clean energy. And it brought online a 1 megawatt solar array in June.