Cobb EMC signs solar power purchase agreement

Cobb EMC signs solar power purchase agreement

Expanded renewable energy portfolio benefits co-op members, environment

Cobb EMC announced today that its Board of Directors recently approved for the cooperative to execute a 25-year power purchase agreement with Southern Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, to purchase 101 megawatts (MW) of solar energy from a 131-MW photovoltaic (PV) solar project to be constructed in Taylor County, Georgia.

“We’re always looking for practical ways to diversify our energy mix and expand our renewable energy portfolio while still keeping costs as low as possible for our members,” said Chip Nelson, President and CEO of Cobb EMC.

The solar facility in Taylor County will be the largest single-site project in Georgia and among the largest east of the Mississippi River. This solar facility, of which Cobb will receive 77% of its output, will be constructed in Taylor County, Georgia on a 911-acre site, which is equivalent of 826 football fields for perspective. The other portions of its output will be purchased by Flint Energies and Sawnee EMC, two other Georgia Electric Cooperatives. The facility is expected to consist of approximately 1.6 million thin-film PV solar modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables.

Construction of the project is scheduled to begin in September 2015, and the project is expected to achieve commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“Cobb EMC has been at the forefront of adding solar projects to our energy portfolio,” Nelson added. “Earlier in 2014, we started receiving the full capacity output from the Azalea solar facility in Washington County, and with the addition of this project, Cobb EMC will be receiving approximately 10% of our capacity portfolio mix from solar and about 5% of the energy needed to serve our members.”

Affordable, renewable energy has long been a focus for Cobb EMC. The Georgia Conservation Voters honored the cooperative in 2013 for efforts to diversify power through renewable resources. Additionally, Cobb EMC offers members environmentally friendly green power through Green Power EMC, including hydro, biomass and reclaimed methane gas from landfills.

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