Georgia Power Shows Off Solar Plans

Georgia Power showed of its plan for expanding it’s solar generating capacity by 210 megawatts according to the Athens Banner-Herald.  The expansion is to replace the biomass energy production that was previously approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission, but those plans fell through.

The proposal is to dedicate blocks of capacity to small, medium and large producers to help stimulate the market for each level. The smallest producers are likely to be homeowners who have solar panels on their roofs for their own electricity and who want to sell what’s extra.

Critics in the state’s budding solar industry say that approach doesn’t go far enough. They want to change state law that grants Georgia Power a monopoly so that developers would have authority to sell electricity to retail customers, such as a building owner who leases roof space to the developer.

Georgia Power opposes changing the law, warning that it could disrupt the integrity of the electricity system if unregulated companies are dumping surges onto the power grid and cutting it off in unpredictable ways.

Using different energy production methods in our energy portfolio is certainly a good thing.  Georgia Power is diversifying their energy portfolio with solar.  Good, but I don’t buy the bit about opposing the changes to the law because of “unregulated companies dumping surges onto the power grid”.  I believe it’s more about protecting their monopolistic power more than the infrastructure.  In related news, I saw an article over the weekend that indicated that solar arrays have broken the “third of a sun” efficiency.