City of Atlanta Taps SGR Client Cherry Street to Launch Clean Energy Program

Clean Energy: Solar Panels in City

Atlanta-based Cherry Street Energy, LLC, a Client of SGR, in partnership with the City of Atlanta, launched the Solar Atlanta Program on Monday, April 23 – an initiative to provide cost-effective, local solar power on 24 municipal buildings. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the Mayor’s Office of Resilience, and City Councilmember Andrea Boone commemorated the program’s kickoff with a community demonstration at the C.T. Martin Recreation Center, one of the buildings set to receive a rooftop solar array in the coming month.

Cherry Street Energy is the first and largest non-utility of its kind in Georgia. The company signed a Solar Energy Procurement Agreement (SEPA) with the City of Atlanta to provide clean energy installations at municipal facilities after a competitive bidding process. The SEPA provided by Cherry Street Energy will offer predictably priced electricity to the City of Atlanta over the 20-year contract. The program will displace a significant percentage of energy usage at the Solar Atlanta facilities, initially including fire stations and recreation centers, with sustainable energy garnered from panels installed by Cherry Street Energy partner Radiance Solar.

“Our renewable energy installations provide our customers a sustainable and more affordable way to meet their electricity needs,” said Monica Caron, Cherry Street Energy’s vice president for business development. “We are honored to serve as the City of Atlanta’s renewable energy provider and offer a local solution to help them achieve their sustainability commitment for 100 percent of municipal operations to transition to clean energy by 2025.”

The Solar Atlanta Program effort was spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office of Resilience in partnership with the City’s Office of Enterprise Assets Management, Department of Watershed Management, Department of Aviation, Department of Public Works, and Department of Parks and Recreation.

“The Solar Atlanta Program highlights the power of public and private sector partnerships to advance the City’s sustainability commitments while also generating jobs and economic development,” said Chief Resilience Officer Stephanie Stuckey.  “We’re also grateful for the inter-departmental partnerships with Watershed, Aviation, Parks, Fire, and Office of Enterprise Asset Management to achieve cross-sector energy savings.”

Third-party ownership of solar energy was made possible through the passing of the Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015 (Georgia HB 57), which allows non-utility companies like Cherry Street Energy to provide renewable power. SGR’s Steve O’Day was a principal author and negotiator of HB 57.  Commercial and industrial business customers now have an alternative source for competitively priced power with no upfront costs or ownership responsibilities. Georgia was the first state in the south (of 26 nationally) to enable competitive energy markets. Recognizing their civic responsibility toward sustainable growth, Macon-Bibb County and the City of Atlanta are the first two municipal customers in the state to take advantage of this market. Bibb County will break ground on its first Cherry Street Energy installation during a local Earth Day festival on April 25.

For more information, please contact Steve O’Day.

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