A Cumming-based electric services cooperative that serves north Georgia recently signed up to participate in more solar energy projects.
Sawnee EMC’s Board of Director approved participation in four new large solar facilities, totaling 200 MW, that are being developed in southeast Georgia for Green power EMC, a nonprofit cooperative founded in 2010 by electric cooperatives — like Sawnee — to solicit, screen and recommend renewable power agreements to participating members.
“This action demonstrates our ongoing commitment to having a competitively priced and economically responsible diversified generation portfolio, which meets the ever-changing needs of our growing membership,” said Michael A. Goodroe, president and CEO of Sawnee EMC, which serves more than 173,000 accounts in seven greater north Georgia counties.
Sawnee EMC will not have an investment or ownership interest in any of these projects — the cooperative agreed to purchase a portion of the solar energy generated at a fixed price for the next 30 years.
Of the 200 MW these four projects represent, Sawnee EMC will subscribe to 20 MW, or 10 percent, of the totally energy output. The projects are scheduled to be constructed and will come online in stages over the next four years.
“These will be good projects economically, both for our members and for our state,” said Blake House, vice president of member services for Sawnee EMC.
Sawnee EMC has participated in other renewable generation projects before, including landfill gas, biomass and utility scale solar.
“As is the case with all renewable projects,” a news release states, “the cooperative has always chosen to participate strategically, over time, and only when it makes economic sense for the members.”