Solar energy is about to go mobile. And farmers are about to have a lot more flexibility in how they power their seasonal equipment. It is power when you need it for the farm community. A new prototype called ‘The Unit’ is about to make its first public appearance at the 2017 Vidalia Onion Festival. The Unit was created to tackle several challenges faced by the agriculture industry.
Just like the sun, Georgia’s solar jobs are rising by the day. Georgia now has nearly 4,000 employees working in solar. That’s a 23 percent hike from 2015, according to the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes solar energy. These workers have a variety of jobs ranging from installation of solar panels to design of new products.
Georgia is adding solar energy faster than almost any state in the nation, according to an industry trade group, and there’s more coming. Now lawmakers are considering forgiving a fee for folks who want to install solar power on protected land, while another bill aims to address what some see as a bit of a cloud on solar’s horizon. Across Georgia in 2015, there were enough solar panels installed to generate 409 megawatts of power, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group. By 2016, that number was up to 1,432 megawatts of installed solar capacity, which made Georgia the third-fastest state for growth in solar, according to the group. They estimate some 162,000 homes in the state are powered by solar. Signs are that there’s more coming.
The sun is shining on the Peach State. Georgia is the third fastest-growing generator of solar power in the United States and the eighth-largest producer of solar energy, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Mascot Pecan Shelling Co. installed a solar array system in Glennville, Georgia, an investment of more than $2.5 million that is projected to pay for itself in power bill savings and incentives in four to seven years.
A grassroots program to increase the number of solar-powered homes and businesses in DeKalb County has extended its deadline to join the bulk-purchase effort. Solarize Decatur-DeKalb said its new deadline for the program is Jan. 31 rather than Dec. 31.
Fort Stewart has a bright future of renewable energy. On Friday, the U.S. Army and Georgia Power Co. formally opened a 250-acre solar energy farm on the installation — a project that has been in the works for more than a year. The $75 million project is the Army’s largest renewable solar energy project in Georgia, and it is one of largest solar farms in the state.
A grassroots campaign to sign up homeowners and small businesses to bulk-buy solar energy installations for their rooftops in Decatur and DeKalb County is about a month away from a self-imposed deadline. Solarize Decatur-DeKalb is the third such project in Georgia since 2015. But scores of communities have tried the strategy of grouping interested solar buyers to get better deals since a neighborhood in Portland, OR, launched the idea in 2009. By 2012, three years after the first campaign, homeowners and businesses in Portland had installed 1.7 megawatts of solar units.
Electric avenues that can transmit the sun’s energy onto power grids may be coming to a city near you. Rugged solar panels, capable of withstand the weight of an 18-wheeler truck, are being integrated into road surfaces. After nearly five years of research and laboratory tests, they’re constructing 100 outdoor test sites and plan to commercialize the technology in early 2018.
A grassroots campaign to boost solar energy in DeKalb County through the power of bulk purchasing has drawn interest from more than 500 families and businesses. The Solarize Decatur-DeKalb program, the third effort that the organizers have put together in Georgia since 2015, promises bigger discounts as more people and firms sign up for solar energy. At the upper end, they can save more than 25 percent on solar installations compared to when customers go it alone, according to the organizers, mostly non-profit environmental and community groups. The sign-up deadline is Dec. 31.