ATLANTA (May 21, 2020) – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) is pleased to announce that the firm served as legal counsel to client Cherry Street Energy (Cherry Street) in its groundbreaking 20-year Solar Energy Procurement Agreement (SEPA) with Emory University (Emory) to install and operate 5.5 megawatts (MW) of solar energy across Emory’s Atlanta campus. The project will result in one of the largest deployments of on-site solar power at a higher education institution in the Southeast.
A SEPA is an arrangement legalized in Georgia in 2015 that allows a private investor to install, own and maintain solar panels on a customer’s property and sell the solar power at rates usually lower than what is charged by the utility. Under the Emory SEPA, Cherry Street will install more than 15,000 solar photovoltaic panels on 16 of Emory’s buildings and parking structures. The solar panel installation will generate approximately 10 percent of Emory’s peak energy requirements and reduce Emory’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 4,300 metric tons.
Furthering Emory’s commitment to economic inclusion, the installation of solar panels will be conducted as part of Shine On, Cherry Street’s recently launched workforce development program. Shine On is a family of programs that helps workers get the experience and training needed to build a career in solar installation. Emory’s solar installations will provide critical opportunities for solar energy workers to learn the skills necessary to work with cutting-edge solar technologies.
Steve O’Day, head of SGR”s Environmental Law and Sustainability Practices, has represented Cherry Street since the company was founded to take advantage of the market created by the Solar Power Free Market Financing Act of 2015. Mr. O’Day and SGR provided legal support for the drafting, negotiation and enactment of that law by the Georgia General Assembly in 2015.
About Cherry Street Energy
Cherry Street Energy is a renewable energy company transforming Georgia’s energy marketplace. The Company develops, finances, owns, operates and maintains solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to deliver predictably priced electricity to its customers. Please visit www.cherrystreetenergy.com for more information.
About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
SGR is a full service, international law firm that advises regional, national and global businesses on a wide range of legal matters. The firm’s 250 attorneys provide legal counsel in more than 45 specialized practice areas, including corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, aviation, banking, real estate, construction, employment law, and employee benefits and executive compensation. Founded in 1893, SGR has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Jacksonville, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Munich, New York, Southampton, and Washington, D.C.