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Thu September 27, 2012
Georgia Power Proposes Adding More Solar to Energy Mix
In wake of increased pressure to speed up solar development, Georgia Power has submitted a plan to add solar capacity to its energy mix.
If state regulators sign off on the plan, Georgia Power would buy up to 70 megawatts of solar electricity each year for the next three years from large and small providers.
Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, the most vocal solar advocate on the commission, says the plan represents a significant step forward.
“Overall it’s a very good short term solution in bringing more solar to bear on the state of Georgia. We will have taken another medium-sized step towards having more renewable energy here in Georgia.”
Two other public service commissioners have recently called on private firms to submit plans of their own in order to initiate more solar development.
A Macon-based company is trying to become the first regulated solar utility in the state and has proposed building a huge 80 megawatt solar farm in central Georgia.
The project, however, has many obstacles, including a state law that allows only Georgia Power to develop solar on a large scale.
Jessica Moore of the Georgia Solar Energy Association said Georgia Power’s new plan is a step in the right direction, but it could be doing more.
“Georgia is still lagging behind many other states in developing a solar infrastructure despite our high-ranking as a state with significant solar potential.”
Moore wants policymakers to consider allowing private solar firms to compete with Georgia Power on a large scale.
Georgia Power did not respond to requests for comment for this story.