Solar Power and Georgia Power

As we’ve seen, the Center of Innovation – Energy defines solar as a southwestern energy source (see slide 9). That slide uses a version of this map:

I found that map on Georgia Power’s web pages. Meanwhile, here are Georgia Power Solar Projects. Hm, “a rooftop solar demonstration program”, “plans to install solar panels at schools in each of the company’s regions”, “showcase its technology”. Where’s the actual rapid deployment?

Meanwhile, Texas almost doubled its renewable energy generation between 2004 and 2006 and hasn’t stopped since. If it works in east and central Texas, it will work in south Georgia, which is at the same latitudes and receives the same amounts of solar energy. See the above map on Georgia Power’s own web pages or go to the source of those maps, NREL, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Or if it works in north Texas at DFW:

“Texas Utilities solar collectors located at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport produce about 100,000 kilowatts a year”
If it works at DFW, it would work at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

The Georgia state legislature has actually been remarkably forward-thinking on this, passing a 35% renewable energy tax rebate a couple years ago, adding to the 30% federal tax rebate, and even before that passing a law that requires power companies to connect local renewable energy production to the grid.

But there’s no attention by the rest of the state government or by the power companies (of which Georgia Power is the biggest) to actually deploy solar.

As Georgia Power’s own web page says:

…insolation values in Georgia are significant enough to support solar energy systems in our state, with the southern two-thirds of Georgia having equivalent solar insolation values to most of the state of Florida.
And Florida has the largest solar plant in the country. And Florida is busily working up solar installation jobs. We could, too.

If the state won’t lead, maybe Lowndes County should.