According to an ABC article:
The Georgia Public Service Commission approved a plan by Georgia Power Co. Tuesday to acquire an additional 210 megawatts of solar generating capacity, more than tripling its investment in solar energy.
A “Me Too” Flashback to Sept: Georgia Power’s proposal came less than a week after a new Macon-based solar power company filed an application with the PSC seeking up to 500 megawatts in solar generating capacity as a starting point toward an eventual goal of 2,000 megawatts.
Under Georgia Power’s Advanced Solar Initiative, the company will buy solar power produced by both large “utility-scale” solar farms and from smaller projects operated by residential and commercial property owners.
Flashback to June: Georgia Power’s Solar Buyback program is fully subscribed and is not accepting new customers into the program at this time.
Some highlights from the article:
- The PSC supported Georgia Power’s plan unanimously.
- A subsequent motion encouraged other solar utilities to pursue their plans with the legislature.
- Georgia Solar Utilities, a Macon company, filed an application with the PSC for authority to generate solar energy in Georgia on a utility scale.
- The commission’s staff recommended that the PSC dismiss the application, citing the 1973 Georgia Territorial Electric Service Act.
- Rather than dismiss the proposal outright, the commission urged Georgia Solar Utilities to appeal to the General Assembly to amend that law and open up the solar business to competition.
- Commissioner Stan Wise said the PSC has no business taking sides on an issue likely to go before Georgia lawmakers. “If they’re successful across the street, so be it,” he said, referring to the location of the state Capitol. “[But] for us to involve ourselves in what goes on across the street is inappropriate.”
- Robert Green, CEO of Georgia Solar Utilities, said his company is prepared to fight for its right to compete for business in Georgia when lawmakers convene this winter.
Senate Bill 401 would have made it legal for solar companies to sell excess energy. The bill had bi-partisan support but Georgia Power opposed it and the bill was shelved for 2012.
Breaking the monopoly requires changing the law. It would be a huge legislative battle, with the electric-membership cooperatives and four dozen cities that sell electricity joining in, too.
Lobbyists, start your engines…