Atlanta, GA- The organizers of Solarize Atlanta celebrated more than just the New Year last week as the deadline to sign a residential solar contract with the program came and went. After the dust settled more than 143 homeowners had signed contracts to install over 855 kW of photovoltaic (PV) solar and 534 kWh of battery capacity that will help homeowners store their solar power and use it later. The installed solar will cut over 1.6 million pounds of global warming pollution annually.
“We wanted to put Atlanta on strong footing as it begins to transition to 100% clean electricity,” explained Jennette Gayer, Director of Environment Georgia. “And, we wanted to make solar something that you could see regularly as you walked around Atlanta’s great neighborhoods, I think we’ve accomplished both our goals and made Atlanta a real clean energy leader in the southeast.”
Solarize Atlanta launched in April of 2018 and is a project of Central Atlanta Progress, Environment Georgia, Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, Georgia Sierra Club, Livable Buckhead, Solar Crowdsource, Southface, US Green Building Council and the Atlanta Office of Resiliency. The group chose Creative Solar to manage residential solar installs and Hannah Solar to manage commercial installs for the program. Solarize programs are designed to make going solar more affordable and straightforward for a short period of time in a defined community. In Atlanta organizers calculate they’ve saved participants over $540,000 because of the savings a Community Solarize program is able to pass along.
“We are thrilled with our Solarize Atlanta system - in the three not-very-sunny-months that we've been up and running our power bills have dropped by about 30%,” said Jesse Cannon a Solarize Atlanta participant in Midtown. “We also found out pretty quickly the benefits of battery storage when we were the only house on the street with continued power during an outage!”
Solarize Atlanta is also the largest Solarize program to be run in Georgia, besting the second closest, Solarize Decatur-DeKalb by around 75 kW. Before the start of the program Atlanta had roughly 925kW of residential rooftop solar installed on 172 roofs and very little battery capacity.
“Our success is a real sign of the times,” explained Russel Seifert, CEO of Creative Solar, “The falling cost of solar panels and energy storage options, especially in a community Solarize program, makes going solar a smart financial and energy independence decision for homeowners.”
"We couldn't be more impressed with the response from the residents of Atlanta,” said Don Moreland the CEO of Solar Crowdsource whose company helps to facilitate Solarize programs. “Solarize Atlanta broke all the previous records for Georgia Solarize programs in terms of participation, added solar capacity, and added battery storage capacity making it the most successful programs of its kind in Georgia."