Georgia gains 1.3MW for solar initiative as SunEdison and URE team up with local landowners

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California-based solar developer, SunEdison and Australia- based solar developer, United Renewable Energy (URE) have successfully collaborated on 1.3MW of solar projects in the US state of Georgia. 

The projects will supplement the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI) – a solar power purchase initiative by utility, Georgia Power, which will buy the electricity generated from the two projects.

The first project, a 600kW plant, is to be connected this week. It was built on previously unused land owned by bed and breakfast operators at Bethany Farm, Tom and Pam Coleman, who expect to increase their revenue by six times prior to utilising the land for solar. The Colemans said: “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.”

The second project is a 700kW plant in Stephens County and is currently under construction, with full completion and operation expected March 2014. The county’s development authority teamed up with SunEdison and URE for the project; previously the county did not have the means to turn undeveloped land into a source of solar revenue.

Georgia Power’s overall solar target is to acquire 800MW of solar by 2017, of which 210MW has to be sourced by the end of this year. In January Georgia Power released a request for proposals for 500MW of solar energy. Origis Energy recently completed 23.5MW for 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.

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