Georgia Power may still be pushing community solar options to its customer, but it recently introduced a community solar alternative. The Customer-Connected Solar Program (CCSP) differs slightly from community solar programs, though it still provides the consumer with a credit. This CCSP is a 25-megawatt Distributed Generation program that was also approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission.
According to the director of Renewable Development for the power company Wilson Mallard, a CCSP is a new clean, renewable energy option that benefits both participating customers and all other customers of Georgia Power. Mallard States that those who don’t participate will still benefit as the CCSP helps the power company expand its energy generation installations and projects.
With the new community solar alternative CCSP, Georgia Power will buy 100% of all generated solar energy. This purchase goes directly back to the customer. Georgia Power will also retire Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) while still allowing customers to claim the benefits of the locally generated solar energy.
When the CCSP program launches, customers will be registered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applicants will be accepted until all 25-megawatts of renewable energy are filled, or the January 2022 cut off date. When a customer signs up for the CCSP, they will have an option between 10 and 30-year terms for projects ranging from 1 kilowatt to 3 megawatts. On average, pricing will range between 4.3-6.7 cents/kilowatt-hour.
Even though Georgia Power is pushing its CCSP, it is still keeping its community solar options active. According to the energy company, community solar is still being encouraged for those unable to partake in the CCSP programs. Georgia Power Community Solar provides customers with credits toward their utility bills. It allows them to benefit from solar power without paying for costly solar panels.
Through CCSP and its community solar programs, Georgia Power estimates it will add up to 1,400 megawatts of additional energy by the close of 2021.