Leaders from Georgia Power, Southern Wholesale Energy, United Renewable Energy LLC and Dalton Utilities gathered this past week for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the latest expansion of the Dalton Solar Plant in Dalton, Ga. With more than seven megawatts (MW) of new generation capacity, this expansion adds to the approximately 700 kilowatts from two previous phases, which came online in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
“Georgia’s status as a national solar leader, as well as the ability to develop projects like this in communities across the state, is thanks to continued collaboration by utilities, government and solar developers,” said Murry Weaver, Northwest Region Vice President for Georgia Power at the event. “We’re proud to be able to expand our partnership with Dalton Utilities so that they may serve their customers’ energy needs with new solar generation produced right here in Dalton.”
Georgia Power leases property for the solar facility from Dalton Utilities, and Dalton Utilities purchases 100 percent of the output from the solar plant under a 25-year wholesale power purchase agreement with Georgia Power. Dalton Utilities will maintain all of the renewable energy credits associated with this transaction. Dalton Utilities provides potable water, electric, natural gas, wastewater, storm water and telecommunications services to customers in Dalton and surrounding counties.
With new solar facilities planned or under construction across the state, Georgia currently sustains one of the fastest growing solar industries in the country. The Dalton Solar Plant represents Georgia Power’s first self-developed and self-built solar generation facility and was a precursor to the innovative, cost-effective solar development programs that Georgia Power continues to drive, including the Advanced Solar Initiative (ASI). Through its various solar programs, Georgia Power is working to develop one of the largest solar portfolios in the nation. All of the company’s solar resources will have been procured at costs designed to prevent upward pressure on rates and ensure that solar offers the most value for Georgia Power customers.
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.