Athens-Clarke County Approves Largest Municipal Rooftop Solar in Georgia
Athens, GA—Athens-Clarke County Commission unanimously approved an agreement to allow The Classic Center Authority to contract with Cherry Street Energy, an Atlanta-based power company, to build the largest municipal rooftop solar energy system in Georgia and power The Classic Center’s existing facilities and the new Classic Center Arena with renewable energy.
Under the agreement, Cherry Street Energy will install and maintain over 1,600 solar panels on the rooftops of the new Arena and existing Classic Center buildings. The system is built by Cherry Street Energy and provided at no upfront cost to The Classic Center Authority. Instead, The Classic Center and The Classic Center Arena will purchase electricity generated from the solar array at a fixed rate competitive with existing power costs.
In May 2019, Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz and ACC Commission passed a resolution supporting ACCG’s transition to 100% renewable energy. This past August the ACC Mayor and Commission adopted a plan to achieve this goal by 2035. Cherry Street Energy’s solar panels are projected to provide approximately 36% of The Classic Center facility’s annual electricity use and 12.5% of the projected annual electricity use of the Arena.
“It is an honor to partner with Cherry Street Energy on this solar array project. I cannot thank Mayor Kelly Girtz and the ACC Commission enough for encouraging us to create a resource that is an asset to Athens in many ways. Building a facility that will be an economic driver for this community while reducing our carbon footprint is an incredible accomplishment. As inscribed on the base of the Athena statue displayed in the front of the facility, this project, along with others, is a part of our continued effort to “transmit this city, not only not less but greater and more beautiful that it was transmitted to us.” Paul Cramer, President/CEO of The Classic Center
“Cherry Street Energy helps leading municipalities, institutions, and corporate citizens realize significant commitments to transform our energy grid with clean energy technology. The built environment of the future will incorporate renewable power on every structure that can support it, and we are honored to be powering the cultural center of the Athens - Clarke County Community with this landmark clean energy project for Georgia.” Michael Chanin, CEO Cherry Street Energy
About Cherry Street Energy: Cherry Street builds, owns, and operates next-generation, high-performance energy infrastructure powering cities, businesses, and institutions with reliable, renewable energy. The Company’s easy-to-adopt platform allows large-scale customers to achieve the benefits of solar energy without the cost or complexity. Cherry Street sells power directly to the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, Emory University, and leading businesses throughout Georgia and is expanding across the Southeast. www.cherrystreetenergy.com
About The Classic Center: Located in Athens, Georgia, The Classic Center is a multi-use conference center, performing arts theatre, multi-purpose arena, and covered outdoor pavilion hosting conventions, conferences, meetings, weddings, concerts, sporting tournaments, and special events for up to 6,000 people.