The city of Atlanta plans to install solar panels on the roofs of 28 municipal buildings. Once the panels are installed, the buildings, which belong to the fire, police and parks departments, will be able to generate up to 40 percent of their own electricity, Mayor Kasim Reed said.
“Once the panels are set up, we will see significant reduction in the city’s electric bills,” Reed said. “Not only does this make great financial sense for our city, it also makes great environmental sense.”
Reed said he wants Atlanta to lead on solar. That would be a leap for the city, which ranked 39th in the country for the number of solar panels installed in a 2015 report by the group Environment America. Jenette Gayer, who leads the state chapter, Environment Georgia, said it’s doable.
“We have basically a power plant’s worth of roofs in our city,” she said. “Atlanta should be the South’s solar leader.”
Atlanta will take advantage of a bill passed by the Georgia General Assembly this year that allows customers to get financing to install solar panels.
“When we build out the solar infrastructure, we will do so without any upfront costs to the city of Atlanta,” Reed said.