Georgia Power to hit 1.6 GW renewable energy goal years early

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Georgia Power, which announced a goal of 1.6GW of renewable energy by 2021, is going to hit that goal with solar alone before the end of 2019.

The company’s 1.6 GW of solar power by 2021 includes residential, community solar and larger projects. It currently has 970 MW of solar capacity online – with at least 649 MW of large scale project announcements in the last few months, for a total of 1,619 MW. At least 150 MW of the volume is expected to be distributed generation.

The utility announced detail of three PPAs on Monday

  • A 200 MW plant to be built by First Solar (previously announced) that will be the largest solar power plant east of the Mississippi, and owned by a First Solar subsidiary Twiggs County Solar LLC. This will be the first large utility-scale plant to use First Solar’s new large-format Series 6 modules.
  • A 160 MW plant to be built by Invenergy Solar Development and owned by Camilla Solar Energy LLC.
  • A 150 MW plant to be built by NextEra and owned by Quitman Solar LLC.

The First Solar plant is the only one with an announced timeline for completion, which is expected in 2019.

These three plants hold 30-year power contracts averaging 3.6¢ per kilowatt-hour, which were awarded in response to a 2017 request for proposals.

The utility also included in this announcement a contract for a 139 MW project with the U.S. military near Robins Air Force Base. Ground breaking for the Robins AFB plant is scheduled for this year, and the project is estimated to cost $200 million – approximately $1.44 per watt to install.

With poor wind resources, and a focus on price competitiveness, it was foreseen that solar would dominate the resources put online to meet Georgia Power’s 1,600 MW goal. As it turns out, solar will meet more than 100% of the goal.