Atlanta, GA—Today Environment Georgia’s Director, Jennette Gayer, joined Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta’s Director of Sustainability, Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, to unveil ‘Solar Atlanta’. The solar plan will install around 2 MW of solar on 28 city buildings. Below are excerpts from Gayer’s remarks:
“If you’ve ever flown into the Atlanta airport you know we have a lot of roofs. Right now those roofs are wasted space that could be turned into a power plant worth of solar.
Throughout the history of Atlanta the vision of our leaders have helped to turn our city into the capital of the South.
So it makes sense—Atlanta should be the South’s solar leader—with our abundant sunshine we could be a hub for renewable energy jobs and fossil fuel free power.
In 2013 Environment Georgia’s research found that Atlanta, with reasonable but aggressive solar policies could generate 10 percent of its electricity with solar panels by 2030 and could shrink the entire state of Georgia’s global warming footprint by 8 percent.
We also release a report every year ranking cities around the country for their solar infrastructure. Last year Atlanta ranked 39th BUT I suspect our ranking is about to change.
In the coming months Atlanta will install solar on 28 of its buildings.
Installing solar on city buildings is one of our top recommendations to cities interested in going solar. First you save money. The city is about to cut electric usage (and bills) at their new solar properties nearly in half. Second you help the environment. You’ll be reducing global warming emissions and the need for power plants that pollute our air and gobble up our water. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you are providing the visionary leadership that it will take to inspire others in Atlanta to do the same.
So, in short, this is a big deal. Atlanta is the first city in Georgia to announce a solar plan, we are stepping up our solar game, and it could not happen at a more critical time. In a week world leaders will gather in Paris to talk about how our planet can grapple with climate change pollution. Atlanta is now part of the solution.
I want to thank Mayor Reed and Atlanta’s Director of Sustainability, Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, for the leadership and dedication that have led to today’s exciting announcement. Moving forward we’ll be looking for ways to continue to expand solar—in the city with more smart Solar Atlanta policies and beyond as other cities follow Atlanta onto the solar bandwagon.”