Clean Energy Boom – Renewable Energy Projects and More Coming to Savannah in 2021 and Beyond
Renewable energy — especially solar power in Savannah, Georgia — is about to hit it big. Don’t get us wrong — it’s already been here, and Coastal Solar has been helping lead the charge for homes, businesses, and farms. However, what began many years ago as a trickle is turning into a river. Big renewable energy projects are now in the works or will be soon.
Combined with some big solar energy projects from the recent past, Savannah and the surrounding regions are about to greatly increase the role played by solar and other forms of clean energy in our area’s energy infrastructure.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest and most exciting clean and renewable energy projects happening in and around Savannah and nearby cities and counties.
1. City of Savannah Sets Renewable Energy Goals
Savannah has recently pledged to meet 100% of its electricity needs with renewable energy by 2035. The plan includes reaching 30% clean energy by 2025, and 50% by 2030.
It’s an ambitious goal, and the details of how they plan to achieve it have not all been worked out. But solar energy will play a big role in the plan, because it is frankly the easiest way to chip away at the goal. Installing solar arrays is much simpler than building new power plants, including clean energy plants like nuclear and hydroelectric.
Here’s the city’s page with more details and updates.
2. Solarize Savannah
Solar energy is more affordable than most people think, especially if you finance all or part of the upfront cost. Combined with tax credits, and additional credits available to businesses and farms that our solar consultants can discuss with you, solar may be within your grasp.
Unfortunately, there remains a significant portion of the population who think solar is out of reach for them. The Solarize Savannah project attempts to enable people with lower incomes to access the money-saving and clean energy benefits of solar energy.
For these residents, their electric bills eat up a higher percentage of their income, especially during the extreme weather months. The financial impact of money-saving solar energy will be immense if they’re empowered to take advantage. Solarize Savannah will make solar energy even more affordable through community grants, partnerships, and other cost-reducing arrangements.
3. Solar Farm on Deptford Landfill
An old landfill has been converted into a five acre solar farm that sends its power to Georgia Power and customers across Savannah. This solar farm features 4000 panels and generates enough power for 240 homes.
This is an example of chipping away at the goal of dramatically increasing the amount of energy generated by solar. Combining solar farms like this one with rooftop solar on homes, farms, and businesses, there’s a lot of untapped capacity for solar energy in Savannah.
4. IKEA Distribution Center
This Savannah solar project made big headlines several years back, so it is not new. But the scale of the project, and the fact it was spearheaded by a business that has converted over 34 of its centers across the country to solar energy, merits a mention on this list.
Savannah’s IKEA distribution center affixed 6076 solar panels to its roof to create a 1458 kW energy system, generating nearly 2 million kWh of energy every year. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 1361 tons, which is like removing 267 cars from the road.
5. Episcopal Diocese of Georgia
Installed in early 2021, the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia is very much like a small business in terms of the amount of energy it uses. They installed just 12 solar panels, and now pay about 20% of their former energy costs.
We include this Savannah solar project on the list because it is a distinguished community institution, demonstrating that just about any home or business can and should look into the possibility of what solar energy can achieve for their energy savings as well as environmental benefits.
6. The Ray and Empty Interstate Lands
Where can we build huge solar arrays with the absolute minimal impact to existing structures, operations, and land?
How about next to the freeway?
They’re noisy and often bordered by unused land. Plus, it’s usually flat land and relatively free of obstructions.
A visionary demonstration project of this concept was completed at The Ray not long ago, which is an 18 miles stretch of I-85 in LaGrange. The project was the first step in the Sustainable Highways Innovation Act to show what’s possible on land like this. This first project features 2600 solar panels, which generate 1 megawatt of electricity, enough for about 170 homes.
How many more solar panels can be installed along this 18 mile stretch of highway? Look to find out in the coming years.
7. Fort Stewart
Like IKEA, this is an older project, but again a very well-known one that shows the impact of just one large institution going solar. In 2016, Fort Stewart began producing renewable energy from a massive 130,000 panel solar array.
The 30-MW array produces enough energy for about 4300 homes every year. This is about 30% of the energy used by the entire Fort every year.
8. Savannah Distributing Company Inc
A facility that chills craft beers and fine wines requires a lot of energy. In 2016, the Savannah Distributing Company installed 342 solar panels on its 52,000 square foot roof on West Gwinnett Street, and the 113 kW system now produces enough energy for about 14 homes.
But they did it for their own business. They expected to save about 40% on their energy costs, but according to VP and COO Chris Peters in a Savannah Now article, they are saving a lot more than that. Their solar energy system will pay for itself within six years from the installation date, which is coming up in 2022.
9. More Renewable Energy Projects in Savannah
With so many different businesses, institutions, and government facilities going solar, you hopefully can see that it makes good economic sense, in addition to being environmentally healthy.
Maybe the next renewable energy project in Savannah should be yours.
Again, you may be surprised to discover how affordable solar energy actually is. Getting a free quote from a Coastal Solar consultant is a great way to find out. Click below to secure a free consultation today.