Bubba McDonald’s solar evangelism

I’ve thanked Bubba McDonald for being serious about solar. However, 500 MW by Georgia Power in several years is nowhere near enough, when New Jersey has 1,000 MW already installed. What we need in south Georgia is distributed solar power for local jobs and direct reduction of electricity bills. Making a solar monopoly as in HB 657 wouldn’t solve that problem; it would actually hinder a real distributed solution. Instead we need to reform that antique 1973 Territorial Electric Service Act to enable financing for distributed solar.

Jim Galloway wrote for the AJC yesterday, GOP revolutionaries push Georgia Power to embrace solar energy,

Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr. has spent more than four decades in and around the state Capitol. That fact alone should automatically disqualify him as a rabid revolutionary.

And yet here he is, attempting to force real, radical change upon one of this state’s most staid and revered institutions. McDonald is the leader of a new and very Republican effort to require that Georgia Power give solar energy a chance.

The white-haired, former state lawmaker and 1990 candidate for governor serves on the five-member state Public Service Commission, which is now taking stock of the 20-year plan that Georgia Power is required to submit to the utility board. The forecast includes no new provisions for solar energy.Yet.

”I’m going to have some solar in it — significant solar. I believe I can make it happen, even if the power company is not that excited about it,” said McDonald. He’s pretty sure two more commissioners will help provide the necessary majority. A vote is scheduled for mid-July.

McDonald would like Georgia Power’s future portfolio to include 500 or more megawatts of energy generated by solar power — roughly a fifth of the generating capacity of the two nuclear power plants operating at Plant Vogtle.

Meanwhile, New Jersey’s 1,000 MW is almost as much as the 1,200 MW each of the two proposed new Vogtle nukes is supposed to produce. Except NJ solar was delivered on-time and on-budget. How about we do that in Georgia and cancel those nukes, along with many more coal plants and natural gas plants?

Ted Terry, who helped Georgia Solar Utilities (GaSU) promote that Dublin High School solar groundbreaking is a Democrat, and Gretchen (pictured talking to Bubba McDonald) is the Chair of the Lowndes County Democratic Party. It’s good to see some Republicans such as McDonald catching up to our long-term advocacy of solar power.


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