- Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Co. based in Atlanta, lost its battle against a formidable and odd coalition of Tea party activists, environmentalists, and solar companies Thursday when regulators sided with the coalition and voted to increase the utility’s solar portfolio.
- The Georgia Public Service Commission’s plan will require Southern Co.’s Georgia Power to generate 525-megawatts (MW) of solar by 2016. This plan will also force Georgia Power to buy the energy from large solar farms rather than rooftop solar arrays, where the electricity is distributed close to the demand.
- The utility’s 20-year energy plan overlooked the use of renewable energy. But a campaign led by Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald in favor of solar sparked a political battle, rallying various groups opposing the utility’s stronghold in the region. The Georgia Tea Party has vowed to fight Georgia Power for a proposed 6% rate hike to pay for new pollution controls for coal plants. The utility plans to close 15 coal- and oil-fired power plants, or 20% of its coal generation by 2016.
From the article:
“…a legislative fight looms over a proposal to create a new solar monopoly that could challenge Georgia Power’s grip on state utilities.”