In Georgia, “competitive” is not for you!

Remember the Southern Company brags about “Our competitive generation business”. The important word there is “our”, as in the Southern Company and its subsidiary Georgia Power gets to compete, and you don’t. Unless you’re big enough.

According to the Georgia Public Service Commission:

Some retail competition has been present in Georgia since 1973 with the passage of the Georgia Territorial Electric Service Act. This Act enables customers with manufacturing or commercial loads of 900 kW or greater a one time choice in their electric supplier. It also provides eligible customers the opportunity to transfer from one electric supplier to another provided all parties agree.

This is apparently only one of twelve Georgia laws that impede a competitive solar power market. But this Territoriality Law alone might be enough of an impediment. Here’s a guide, and here’s the text of the Georgia Territorial Electric Service Act.

Because of that law, you can’t you put up solar panels on your own land and sell your power to somebody somewhere else. And you can’t get a company like SolarCity or Lower Rates for Customers to put up solar panels on your property and sell you the power ( or can you?). Unless you’re generating at least 900 KW; then maybe you can get selected businesses to switch to your power once. Except you probably still won’t qualify, because solar energy isn’t “capacity”, that is, it isn’t guaranteed on all the time. Not even if your prospective customer wants your solar power to offset their air conditioning costs at the same time the sun is shining on your panels. Nevermind that all this is possible in most U.S. states. In Georgia, all you can do is sell your excess electricity to your electric utility, at whatever rate that utility is willing to pay you, and then only up to a cap that is lower than in for example California. In Georgia, “competitive” is not for you!

But if you’re Florida Power & Light, hey, you get to own most of the four coal units at Plant Scherer, dirtiest coal plant in the world, to pollute Georgia’s air while passing your electricity through “the grid” to Florida for sale. Jacksonville Electric Authority owns the rest of the Plant Scherer Unit 4, also dirtying our air for Florida’s electricity and a Florida company’s profit.

“Competitive” is for humongous utilities only, silly Georgia Power customer or taxpayer who gets to subsidize SO’s new nukes!