That’s great, but how about more of those hundreds of construction jobs
and operation money right back here to Georgia?
But since you’re buying solar power,
why do you need
to buy a pipeline company?
helping us against Sabal Trail invading us from Texas
through Southern Company territory?
While electric bills still are tilted against local solar generation
and Georgia Power continues to levy its stealth CWIP tax for its
nuke boondoggle, yet solar power is rising this year on
Southern Company and Georgia Power.
Bret Wagenhorst posted on facebook 9 June 2015:
I find it decidedly ironic that a large portion of my last month
electric bill went toward paying for a nuclear power plant that is
hundreds of millions of dollars over budget, and which will no doubt
cost millions of dollars a year to run and to manage its potentially
deadly waste. I wonder if the money spent on the nuclear plant were
used to purchase rooftop solar panels for all certified energy
efficient Georgian homes if we citizens might not be better off in
the long run. Thoughts?
Yes, it’s better than the unequal “net metering” Georgia has now,
where your one-and-only utility pays you a rate they determine,
typically their “avoided” rate of not generating energy by some
other means, which is usually a lot less than what you pay your utility.
Is it better than real one-to-one net metering?
That’s a harder question, because even if it pays more now, it’s
In any case VOST has spread
from Austin to Minnesota.
Net metering actually shortchanges rooftop solar generators,
discovered Austin Energy by running the numbers.
And here in Georgia we can’t even get net metering:
maybe we should.
In Austin, Texas it’s called the
Value of Solar tariff,
and it’s an odd tariff that actually pays the solar generator.
To come up with a true value of solar to the utility, Austin Energy
formulated numerical values for all of the benefits yielded by each
kilowatt-hour of distributed generation. These included not only the
actual electricity produced but also the elimination of line losses
as well as costs the utility could avoid by not building, or even
delaying, construction on more generation. “If you put off a
billion-dollar decision for one year, that’s at five percent
interest,” said [Karl] Rabago. “It’s a big savings in cash each
The central city of a major MSA,
Austin, Texas, publishes its own video reporting on
local issues, like this one on local energy efficiency.
AustinEnergy has brought back its best offer ever deal,
which allows customers to receive both rebates and a loan
to make energy efficiency improvements.
The rebates can total as much as $3200,
and can cover as much as a third of the cost of the improvements,
including the air conditioning unit.
Remaining costs after the rebates can be financed through a
low interest loan through the Austin Credit Union.
The best offer ever is financed in part by a $10 million
better buildings grant from the U.S. Department of Energy….
Around here I hear local leaders say “we’ll never be Austin.”
Well, Austin may be letting San Antonio pass Austin as far as rooftop solar
and the jobs that generates.
It’s not a matter of size or pre-existing advantages.
It’s a matter of political will.
Do we have that will here?
…the most direct route to attracting and encouraging the
development of clean energy industries is through the
the scale of future development will be orders of
magnitude greater than what has occurred to date.
mass deployment of local rooftop solar, which is probably why solar has
by far the most significant presence of any clean energy generation
technology in Austin.
But the paper’s point is that Austin is falling short.
Look at the graph:
Austin seems to have settled for linear growth in solar power,
while San Antonio gets it about
As San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro
said in 2011, solar power is in
Coal is dead. Nuclear is going down.
Solar will eat the lunch of utilities that don’t start generating it.
Can Georgia Power and Southern Company (SO) read that handwriting on the wall?
They can’t fight Moore’s Law, which has steadily brought the cost
of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy down for thirty years now, and
shows no signs of stopping.
This is the same Moore’s Law that has put a computer in your pocket
more powerful than a computer
that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in 1982
and was used by an entire company.
Solar PV costs dropped 50% last year.
Already all the new U.S. electric capacity installed this September
was solar and wind.
As this trend continues, solar will become so much more cost-effective
than any fossil or nuclear fuel power that nobody will be able to ignore it.
Rogers and Kennedy explained this phenomenon:
The seismic shift in how we all use cell phones and mobile technology to access the internet almost snuck up on the incumbent technologies and the monopolies that made money selling us landline telephones and a crappy service. Now, we’re all using apps on smartphones all of the time. So too, the shift to a scaled, solar-powered future built around the modular technology at the heart of solar power—the photovoltaic solar cell—will come as a surprise to many. We call it the solar ascent, and it is happening every day in a million ways.
Soft costs can be pretty tough. The cost of solar installations can
be generally separated into “hard” costs — representing
primary components such as modules, racking, inverters — and
soft costs including legal, permitting, and financing. While the
former group — particularly modules — have dropped
dramatically over the last several years, the latter have not.
According to a recent NREL analysis, these costs represent roughly
30% of both residential and utility installations (slightly less for
commercial-host systems). See Figure 1.
In fact, soft costs are so critical to the overall success of solar
adoption, their reduction is a primary focus of the Department of
Energy’s SunShot Initiative to make solar energy cost-competitive.
In order to reduce the cost of financing, NREL recently completed
and continues to work on various efforts to tap public capital
markets and enable other vehicles that securitize project
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
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?
1 MW in Upson.
OK, to be fair, that’s just Georgia Power.
SO does have larger solar farms elsewhere, including