Solar Energy USA

Georgia Power’s Solar Plan Approved | Solar Energy USA Blog Archive

Georgia Power’s Solar Plan Approved

Posted on Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 at 11:33 am by Solar Energy USA

From the AJC:

ks_georgia-color_-logo__0 State utility regulators approved Georgia Power’s plans to buy up to 50 megawatts of solar power — enough to power about 50 SuperTargets — by 2015.

The utility’s plan is to strike agreements with individual solar-power producers to meet this goal. The solar-power providers would have to be able to connect to the transmission system for Georgia Power or any of its sister utilities, Alabama Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power.

Georgia Power said it plans to enter 20-year agreements to buy solar. One megawatt has the capacity to power 450 homes or one SuperTarget store.

The proposal was approved unanimously, though PSC Chairman Stan Wise warned that he would watch to make sure utility rates do not go up. The price of solar technology has dropped in recent years but solar power remains costly compared to traditional types of fuel. Solar and other alternative fuels often are heavily subsidized, which Wise said he is against.

“I am going to support this proposal, but just as a notice, I’m going to continue to pushback on prices and subsidities,” he said.

Georgia Power filed the proposal after PSC member Lauren McDonald in June gave the utility 30 days to come up with ideas for large-scale solar energy projects. The utility said it would include its proposal as part of a long-term energy plan submitted to the PSC in July.

Georgia Power can currently buy up to 4.4 megawatts of solar power from independent power producers. It collects the costs through a voluntary, premium-priced green power program.