Georgia Power, a utility company based in Atlanta, has launched a new program called Georgia Power Simple Solar. This is a voluntary solar energy initiative that lets its customers support solar energy even in cases where they cannot, or decide not to, install a solar system in their homes or places of work.
The solar energy that Georgia Power utilizes for the program is produced by photovoltaic (or PV) systems which are comprised of semiconductor modules (cells) that directly convert sunlight into electricity. The photovoltaic cells are arranged in form of flat panels (arrays of panels) that can be installed on the ground or mounted on rooftops. The process of energy generation through the use of PV technology has zero carbon emissions.
According to Norrie McKenzie, vice president in charge of renewable development at the company, the initiative is the latest development in the company’s efforts to enhance renewable energy in Georgia state and at the same time create commercial services and solutions for customers who are interested in helping the growth of solar energy. He adds that solar energy has a huge potential to provide power to the state of Georgia, and as such, the company is committed to helping its customers find the solar solution that is best suited to their needs.
The Simple Solar program was created in collaboration with the Georgia Public Service Commission(which also approved it) to promote solar development. Subscribers pay an extra one cent per kilowatt-hour(kWh) which is used by the company to buy renewable energy credits (REC) from a licensed solar generation provider. The one cent per kWh price includes the cost of the energy credit and the program’s administration and marketing expenses The credits are then used to match and offset the subscribers’ energy usage. The company states that it makes sure that the solar credits adhere to the laid-down environmental and consumer-protection standards. Furthermore, since the purchases are linked to subscriptions, joining the program means customers are giving direct support to the advancement of solar and solar generation over the entire region.
Simple solar provides multiple subscription categories for customers, including Special Event and Large Volume purchase options. The utility company asserts that hundreds of business and residential customers have joined the program. TOTO USA, a well-known Georgia manufacturer noted for its sustainability initiatives and renewable energy goals, was the first customer to wholly match its monthly energy usage via the Large Volume option.
Bill Strang, TOTO USA’s president of operations and eCommerce notes that the company was delighted to match 100% of its energy consumption using the Simple Solar program. He adds that the collaboration with Georgia power enables the company to offer a return on investment through cost-effective electricity as well as a return on the environment through sustainable solar energy.
According to Georgia Power, benefits of the solar energy initiative include:
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