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Solar power contributes to our mix of clean energy sources that help power our grid every day. It’s a resource we continue to research and explore. It’s also one we can help you better understand and harness through our clean energy solutions for your home or business.

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Solar power is clean energy, generated from a renewable energy source through an emission-free process, which also emits no noise or odor-pollution. This energy is converted from sunlight directly into electricity. The conversion happens when sunlight hits solar cells, also known as photovoltaic (PV) cells, arranged in a module or panel. 

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How we use solar energy

In addition to using solar in our generation Stake reviewmix, we have a team dedicated to researching new and more efficient ways to tap into this clean energy source. We built the first Smart Neighborhood in Alabama, which utilizes solar energy through a community-scale power system, or microgrid, built to generate energy for the neighborhood. The microgrid can generate over 600,000 kWh of energy annually. It includes solar panels, battery storage and a backup generator. Homes receive energy from both the microgrid and the existing electric grid. 

There are some challenges around storage of renewable energy sources like solar. So, we are also looking at ways to advance the use and technology of batteries paired with solar, which will assist in making solar more reliable in providing power to our customers. The use of batteries helps store the sun’s energy, so we can tap into it when the sun goes does at night and on cloudy days. 

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Solar Projects

We also work with businesses looking to support clean energy projects, like building solar plants in Alabama. Solar plants are large-scale installations of solar panels mounted on the ground, designed to capture a maximum amount of energy when the sun is shining. Today, an estimated average of seven acres of land is needed to generate one megawatt of power using solar energy. 

We currently have five solar plants online or in development, with two more recently approved. To find out more about operating solar plants in our service territory, visit our stake.com|welcome_energy. Businesses can choose to support these projects or the development of new ones, helping them meet their clean energy goals. And, if you’re not ready to subscribe to a project, we also offer other programs to help your business meet its clean energy goals.

Clean Energy Solutions for Businesses

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Rooftop Solar

Thinking about installing a solar electric system for your home or business? stake app reviewWe do not sell solar panels or provide solar installation services, but we are here to help you check all the boxes – like learning more about how it will impact your meter, how to ensure you’ll always have enough power, and what you need to get started.

How the process works

  1. stake casino. We can ensure that your system is set up to keep you connected to our grid if you need backup power. Typically, customers work with a solar developer to design their system in accordance with our Interconnection Policy, which states what is needed for project developers to interconnect Distributed Energy Resources (DER) to the grid. Note: We do not recommend specific solar developers, but you can find information on qualified candidates online.

  2. Know your solar rate options. It is unlikely that you will be able to generate enough electricity for your home or small business through solar power alone. And that’s where we can help. All customers who operate their own generation interconnected to our system are subject to a rate rider called RGB to ensure they can still receive the reliability they have come to expect as a customer. This rate rider will help you understand your options for supplementary, back up and maintenance power. You can find special rules governing RGB here

    If you would like to consider selling your excess power back to Alabama Power, depending on the size of your generator, you should consider Rate PAE (Purchase of Alternate Energy) for smaller systems less than 100kW, or Rate CPE (Contract for Purchased Energy) for systems 100 kW or greater. The energy you generate will be used to power your home or business, and any excess will flow into our power grid. You can elect to sell your excess energy to us through PAE or CPE. You can find special rules governing the application of Rate CPE here and Rate PAE here. For assistance with the application process of Rate CPE or Rate PAE, email us at g2apcrenewables@southernco.com

  3. Submit your interconnection application to us. We will review and communicate approval or further needs. If you have questions, email us at g2apcrenewables@southernco.com

Other Important Considerations

There are several other factors to consider before choosing to install rooftop solar panels: 

  • Potential restrictions. Be sure to check your local zoning ordinances for any restrictions and inspection requirements and consult with your homeowner’s association before installing solar panels. 

  • Maximum sunlight. Make sure you have a location with maximum sunlight and no shading between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. 

  • Battery storage. Due to inconsistent levels of sunlight, many customers interested in installing solar panels will pair their system with a battery storage unit. When there’s not enough sunlight, these units allow you to tap into power that was generated during peak solar levels.

If you're looking for an easier and faster solution, you may want to consider our stake.com|welcome_Power your. It allows you to purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs), which represent energy generated from clean energy sources, like solar, to help power your home. You can choose from several plans to meet your clean energy goals and budget.

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For more information, contact our Customer Service, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., at 1-800-245-2244. Or check out our brochure,  A Consumer’s Guide: Get Your Power from the Sun.