ATHENS, Ga. – Athens-Clarke County Commission (ACC Commission) unanimously approved an agreement 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 more than 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.
In May 2019, Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz and the ACC Commission passed a resolution supporting the venue’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy. Cherry Street Energy’s solar panels are projected to provide approximately 36 percent of the facility’s annual electricity use and 12.5 percent 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 than it was transmitted to us,’” says 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,” says Michael Chanin, CEO of Cherry Street Energy.