Mon., June 7, 2010 3:37pm (EDT)

Solar Farm Step Forward For Ga. Green Energy
By Noel Brown
Updated: 4 years ago

AUGUSTA, Ga.  —  
Solar power is still too expensive for utilities like Georgia power to consider investing in the expensive equipment themselves.
Solar power is still too expensive for utilities like Georgia power to consider investing in the expensive equipment themselves.
Trey Pippin paid about a million dollars for the construction of a 200 kilowatt solar power plant on his south Georgia pecan ranch. It covers about an acre and is the state’s largest commercial solar farm. Georgia Power has a five year contract with Pippin to buy the solar power.

Professor Ajeet Rohatgi specializes in solar energy at Georgia Tech. He says because solar is still more expensive than fossil fuels, this kind of partnership helps make it a more viable energy source for the state.

"You are putting more and more installations out there and dropping the price, Rohatgi said. "And now it’s getting pretty close to where utilities are also getting pretty interested in owning."

The installation qualified Pippin for more than 50% in state and federal green energy tax credits. After the 5 year contract with Georgia Power runs out he'll use the solar panels to power his farm.