Mayor Kasim Reed Launches the City of Atlanta’s First Solar Energy Program November 23, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 23, 2015

News Release

Mayor Kasim Reed Launches the City of Atlanta’s First Solar Energy Program

ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed joined Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and Environment Georgia Executive Director Jennette Gayer today to announce that the City of Atlanta will launch Solar Atlanta, its first solar energy program.

The program will use existing state legislation and federal tax credits to purchase and install solar panels on 28 municipal buildings including recreation centers, fire stations and one police station. The solar installations will promote significant savings on the City of Atlanta’s electric bills and are projected to reduce the city’s carbon dioxide emissions by 73 million pounds, while saving 216 million gallons of water through the year 2030.

“Solar Atlanta moves the City of Atlanta one step closer to protecting our environment for future generations and toward our goal of becoming a top-tier city for sustainability,” said Mayor Reed. “Soon more than two dozen of our well-used community centers and public safety facilities will be powered in part by clean, affordable energy. With the Solar Atlanta program, the City will reduce our carbon footprint, conserve water and demonstrate our commitment to our values.”

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability inspected and evaluated more than 600 municipal buildings to determine the initial round of buildings that would benefit from solar panels.

The passage of House Bill 57, called the Solar Power Free Market Financing Act, allows the City of Atlanta to finance and deploy solar panels using power purchase agreements. The City has developed a plan to finance the solar installations with no up-front costs to Atlanta residents.

“As Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, it is my hope that the City of Atlanta will serve as a model for other cities and private commercial buildings to take advantage of power purchase agreements to finance their own solar installations,” said Stephanie Benfield.

The City of Atlanta will issue request for proposals and invite solar developers to participate in the initiative through a competitive bidding process.

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