Solar energy project benefiting Cobb EMC back on track

Energy provider Dominion has signed a deal to take over a planned solar energy project in east-central Georgia that will have Cobb Electric Membership Corp. as its customer.

The 40-acre solar project, called the Azalea Solar Power Facility, will be on farmland and forest acreage about 60 miles southwest of Augusta. The plant will produce about 7.7 megawatts of electricity using photovoltaic technology.

Dominion said it has a 25-year purchase power agreement with Cobb EMC, which serves about 176,000 customers.

“When we can add renewable energy to our mix without causing significant cost increases to our members, we are glad to do so,” Cobb EMC President and Chief Executive Officer Chip Nelson said in a statement Friday.

Dominion acquired the solar project for an undisclosed price from Smart Energy Capital and Jacoby Development. Cobb EMC had signed an original deal in October 2010 with CBRE Solar and Jacoby Development for generation from project. CBRE Solar is a collaboration between Smart Energy Capital, which is a solar development and finance firm, and the real estate services firm CBRE Group.

“We are also excited about the Dominion purchase because it puts construction of the Azalea Solar Project on a fast track for completion,” Nelson said.

Cobb EMC’s customers are in Cobb, Bartow, Cherokee, Fulton, and Paulding counties in the north metro Atlanta area and Randolph, Calhoun, Quitman and Clay counties in southwest Georgia.

The solar project is expected start of commercial operations in December.

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