Georgia Power needs to expand solar —Lauren McDonald, Chairman, GA PSC

An unlikely ally in getting Georgia Power to do solar. Maybe too unlikely.

Kristi E. Swartz wrote in the AJC 8 June 2011, Regulator: Georgia Power needs more solar sources

Georgia utility regulator Lauren McDonald wants Georgia Power to come up with options in the next 30 days for expanding the tiny amount of electricity generated from solar power..

“I think we need to take an aggressive move and explore what we can do,” McDonald, a veteran member of the Public Service Commission, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I don’t think the company and even our staff has been challenged to the degree that they should be.”

Georgia Power responded saying they would “comply”. Which doesn’t mean much since there’s nothing but one person’s opinion to comply with.

I tend to agree with Neill Herring on this one:

Neill Herring, a lobbyist for the Sierra Club, called the action “back scratching.”

“They both get to look responsible,” said Herring, adding that there’s a growing and vocal solar lobby in Georgia. “They have to deal with those people. That’s what this is about.”

So I guess we need to be more vocal to get them to scratch harder.

The article notes:

Georgia Power has resisted building solar and other alternative energy projects for years, citing cost and a cloudy Southeast as the two main issues.
Which of course are both bogus excuses, since solar already costs less than nuclear to deploy, and Georgia Power’s own web pages admit that:
…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.
Also more sun than Houston, which is busily deploying solar, and the same amount as Austin, which is a national leader in solar.

Maybe some cities also could suggest Georgia Power do something.


PS: Claudia Collier pointed out this AJC article.