Solar Energy USA Tours Georgia Power Solar Roof Downtown Atlanta

Since December of 2008, GA Power has been testing various types of solar panels on their building to get a better understanding of solar technology and find out which type panels work best in the hot, humid, and often hazy Southeastern climate.

Everyone complains about how high power bills are these days. What if the power company credited YOU for producing power and selling it back to them? It may sound like a delusional concept, but the truth is that most power companies will actually give you a credit or refund for selling power back to them via a solar panel array connected to your home (via roof or ground mount) which decreases your monthly power bill and adds resale value to your home.


We had the very unique opportunity of meeting with the head of the Georgia Power Green Energy Program the other day and taking a tour of the rooftop solar array that is being tested on their building in downtown Atlanta. Since December of 2008, GA Power has been testing various types of solar panels on their building to get a better understanding of solar technology and find out which type panels work best in the hot, humid, and often hazy Southeastern climate.

Their goals include generating relevant data on the cost and payback of solar technology, as well as capturing and understanding performance data to assist customers in solar technology selections. Through June of this year, 2011, they will continue to evaluate the performance of various types of solar panels.

At any time you can visit their solar research website and view real-time data from these solar panels. Their project tests seven different 4kW (kilowatt) PV systems including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film or "peel and stick" solar options. The energy generated from these different solar technologies helps offset the electricity needs of their building and serves as a vivid example that solar is very do-able in Georgia, both cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing.

Georgia Power customers who generate solar electricity may sell some or all of that electricity back to Georgia Power. Small generators (≤ 100 kW) are eligible to sell their electricity under the Renewable & Non-renewable Tariff (RNR-7) and the Solar Purchase Tariff (SP-1). Under these programs, solar energy will be purchased from GA Power at a rate of 17 cents per kWh (most GA residents currently pay 12 cents per kWh). Larger customers (≤ 80MW) may sell their electricity as a Qualifying Facility.

Of the 2.5 million GA Power customers, 4,200 currently buy green energy each month. There are a number of reasons people choose to do so including helping to increase renewable energy sources in our region, supporting the local economy and local renewable workers, meeting environmental objectives and ideals, as well as the myriad of positive environmental benefits.

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