Inman Solar announced this week that it is starting construction of four 1-megawatt solar farms in Georgia.
The projects are among the first to break ground as part of Georgia Power’s Advanced Solar Initiative. The utility launched the new solar investment program in March. The program, which was expected to result in 210 megawatts of new utility-scale and distributed solar power generation capacity, was extraordinarily popular. Applications flooded the utility offices and the program was quickly closed, though it was the largest voluntary solar development program in the United States at the time, according to a release from Inman Solar.
The Georgia Public Service Commission responded to the demand and enacted a measure this summer requiring the utility to add an additional 525 megawatts of solar to it portfolio.
Inman’s four projects in Marion and Polk counties mark the beginning of significant solar investment in Georgia.
While the projects are relatively large at 1 megawatt, they still fall within Georgia Power’s carve out for 45 megawatts of smaller distributed generation projects.
Inman Solar, an Atlanta-based company, specializes in commercial scale solar projects.
“The solar farms developed by Inman Solar for Georgia Power’s ASI program will create economic investment in rural communities that are searching for new business opportunities to help drive recovery and growth,” according to the release.
George Neal, chairman of the Marion County Commission agreed that the solar development there presents new opportunities for the community.
“We welcome Inman Solar to the Marion business community and look forward to the new economic activity their projects will create in the county,” Neal said in a statement.
Dan Fossitt, president of Inman Solar, said he feels the Georgia Power solar initiative is a sustainable program that uses market forces to manage project pricing without the need for aggressive incentives.
Inman Solar leaders expect the Georgia Power solar program will be more successful and meet with less controversy than many other utilities have faced as they have attempted to reverse solar incentive packages on the argument that their solar programs were placing upward pressure on electric rates for non-solar customers.
"The Georgia Power ASI provides a great benefit to Georgia's overall economy and has helped us build a nationally competitive solar company that puts Georgians to work and generates economically responsible clean energy and tax revenues for the state, Fossitt said.