“Great, big” SO is 1/10 Australia for solar farm deployment in Georgia

Solar Megawatts 2012-10-11 So if Southern Company is a “great, big company” similar to Australia, why did Australia just deploy a solar farm ten times the size of the biggest one SO has in Georgia?

Back in May, Southern Company (SO) CEO Thomas A. Fanning said:

From an energy standpoint, Southern Company is a little bit smaller, but similar to, the energy production profile of the nation of Australia. We are a great, big company from an energy production standpoint.

Meanwhile in Australia, Giles Parkinson wrote for Clean Technica 10 October 2012, Australia’s 1st Utility-Scale Solar Farm Now On!

At about 11am local time near the Western Australian town of Geraldton this morning, Australia’s first-utility scale solar farm was officially switched on.

It was a suitably sunny day (blighted by three million flies) and although just 10MW in size, and built courtesy of funding from the local government, a state-owned utility and by one of the wealthiest companies on the planet, it may presage a dramatic change in the way this country produces energy.

So what’s SO or Georgia Power’s biggest solar plant in Georgia? You remember, 1 MW in Upson.

OK, to be fair, that’s just Georgia Power. SO does have larger solar farms elsewhere, including

Now I know Georgia Power’s party line is that solar is only good in the U.S. southwest. But I don’t know how that explains Germany being the world leader in solar deployment, or Austin Energy deploying a 30 MW solar farm on a site with the same insolation as south Georgia, or Cobb EMC deploying 10 MW in Cobb County, GA.

And it’s funny how Georgia Solar Utilities (GaSU) can find land right next to Georgia Power’s Plant Branch in Putnam County, Georgia to build a 90 MW solar project. And GaSU’s proposal has a common feature with that Greenough River plant in Australia, private financing:

Matt O’Connor, managing director of GE Energy Financial Services, which invests $2-$3 billion a year in energy projects each year, agrees. “We see incredible investment opportunities in Australia and look forward to expanding on this successful project and applying our expertise to help the country’s renewable energy market grow.”

You know, if Georgia Power and Southern Company would get their three-legged nuclear regulatory-capture stool out of the way, GE might help Georgia’s renewable energy market grow.

We have an opportunity right now to elect some new Georgia Service Commissioners and legislators who might help with that.