In yet another sign that the solar market in Georgia is picking up, SunEdison and URE announce two solar projects in the state, just part of their plan to drive the growth of the small to mid-sized solar market there. Both projects take underused land and turn it into solar savings.
While strong winter storms are leaving many Georgia residents without power, it seems to be the state’s time to shine when it comes to solar. Since GTM Research identified it as the best overall emerging solar market in the country, we’ve been seeing more solar developments there.
SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE), a solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, and United Renewable Energy (URE), a fast-growing solar energy solutions provider in the southeast, are working together to create new solar opportunities in the state. Leveraging the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI), the two companies are currently collaborating on projects totaling approximately 1.3 MW and have plans for more.
Two of the projects, announced today, are taking underused land and putting it to use generating clean energy and saving money.
One project, a solar power plant approximately 600 kW in size, is scheduled to interconnect this week. It’s on land that was previously an underutilized pasture, owned by Tom and Pam Coleman. The couple run a bed and breakfast on part of their land. With zero up-front capital, they expect to increase their revenue from land use by a factor of six.
The couple stated, “As the independent owners of historic Bethany Farms Bed and Breakfast, we are always looking for ways to increase income without increasing costs to our customers. URE and SunEdison showed us how we could use a small area of our land for solar energy and make a profit from it. The whole process has been smooth and as an added benefit; having the solar power plant on our property has attracted a new customer base. We’re really pleased we did this.”
Another project, a solar power plant of about 700 kW, is under construction and expected to be operational in March 2014. That project is for the county development authority in Stephens County, Georgia. The project will convert undeveloped land to productive use and revenue for the county.
“The URE and SunEdison team have brought much-needed economic activity to the county, and helped us bring revenue from land that had long been off the tax rolls,” said Tim Martin, executive director of the Stephens County Development Authority.
“We are proud to partner with SunEdison because their strong commitment to quality is a perfect fit with the way we do business. We are thankful for the vision of the Stephens County Development Authority and the Coleman’s in hosting these important projects, and for Georgia Power Company’s support of the booming solar market in Georgia and throughout the development and construction of these projects”, said William Silva, CEO of URE.
SunEdison’s focus on growth aligns well with Georgia Power’s goal to contract for nearly 800 MW of solar by 2017 through GPASI and other programs. For small and medium-size solar installations, the GPASI program will help make it easier and more profitable for businesses, municipalities, schools, and others to sell solar energy to Georgia Power.
“Small to medium scale distributed generation solar is a major growth engine for our company. With the help of our local partners, our customers get the most value and profit from their installation.” Said Bob Powell, President of North America, SunEdison. “Having a partner like URE that we can trust to consistently deliver a quality customer experience is crucial to our business and we are looking forward to continuing to work together to bring new business to both of our companies.”