Category Archives: Georgia Power

Solar and wind can power Georgia

Solar power is here right now. Georgia is #10 in the nation (up from #22 in 2017) by solar deployed (1,552.98 MW) and #7 in projected growth, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). That’s ahead of Florida, but still behind much farther north New Jersey and Massachusetts, which have less sun.

Graph: Top 10 Solar Power States, SEIA, Paul Horn, Inside Climate News
Graph: Top 10 Solar Power States, SEIA, Paul Horn, Inside Climate News

This Georgia solar improvement is despite Southern Company and Georgia Power cutting back on renewable energy investment last year and a hostile federal administration.

Graph: Georgia's Solar Boom, SEIA and Paul Horn, InsideClimateNews
Graph: Georgia’s Solar Boom, SEIA and Paul Horn, InsideClimateNews

Sheer economies of scale continue decreasing solar prices and driving more solar installations, with more jobs. Continue reading

Southern Company Stockholder Meeting 2018-05-23

This year the Southern Company annual report says increased energy revenues were “primarily due to increases in renewable energy sales”, yet Southern Power is selling off a third interest in its solar facilities. Why? To pay off debt from its failed Big Bet on Plant Vogtle nukes, and its new Big Bet on stranded assets in natural gas pipelines. I don’t think the future lies that way, Tom Fanning, abandoning solar power and getting in bed with Sabal Trail.

When: 10AM Wednesday, May 23, 2018
9AM breakfast

Where: The Lodge Conference Center at Callaway Gardens,
4500 Southern Pine Drive, Pine Mountain, Georgia 31822

What: Southern Company Annual Stockholder Meeting

Facilities in Operation or Development as of March 20, 2018, Annual Report
Facilities in Operation or Development as of March 20, 2018, Annual Report

Why would Southern Company sell off the assets that generated the most increase in revenue? On page 46: Continue reading

Where you at, onevaldostalowndes.com?

Well, they spelled that wrong, as “Where are we now?” Maybe for the video narrator from California who showed a picture of lily pads when he said “River”.

Rivers, Video

Vision, Website But to be fair, this website and the video from the Development Authority organized by VisionFirst whom Lowndes County paid $25,000, presumably matching Valdosta, also adopted by SGRC, does work hard to show a positive vision of the local area. Oops, I forgot the hospital and the Chamber, and, most importantly, Georgia Power, listed in the FAQ:

Who is the leading the effort? Continue reading

Model Solar Ordinance Public Workshop, Tifton, GA 2018-03-12

A few years ago, a doctor in Valdosta applied for a variance for solar panels over his parking lot. The Zoning Board of Approvals (ZBOA) tabled it, because Valdosta’s Land Development Regulations (LDR) did not permit that. I think he then made the panels connected to his building, which put them a different and already-permitted category.

What if Valdosta and other local governments updated their codes to enable parking lot and other solar power?

When:

4-6PM Monday, March 12, 2018

Where: National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Library (NESPAL)
2356 Rainwater Road, Tifton, GA 31793

Event: eventbrite

What: “The Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, and University of Georgia have come together to develop a model solar zoning ordinance to provide county and city officials and other decision-makers in Georgia access to best practices and a common baseline from which to work. We will produce a comprehensive document that addresses multiple scales and types of solar energy systems that counties and cities can adopt and adapt to their needs.”

Georgia 2017-01, Maps

More about the event: Continue reading

The shift has come: GE, Siemens massive job losses as fossil fuels crash and the sun rises

The carbon bubble is bursting, as jobs fly from some of the biggest companies in the world, because solar and wind power are taking over right now. It’s too late to bet on the wrong nuclear horse or the wrong pipelnie snake. Get out of fossil fuels now: the sun is rising.

Tiffany Hsu and Clifford Krauss, New York Times, 7 December 2017, G.E. Cuts Jobs as It Navigates a Shifting Energy Market,

General Electric, whose new leadership is moving to eliminate bloat and grapple with the fallout from earlier, ill-timed decisions, is taking drastic steps to keep pace with seismic shifts in the global energy industry.

GE ranks first in 2017 downsizing after 12,000 more jobs: Brandon Kochkodin, Bloomberg, 7 December 2017
Brandon Kochkodin, Bloomberg, 7 December 2017, GE Ranks First in 2017 Downsizing After 12,000 More Job Cuts.

The company said on Thursday that it would cut 12,000 jobs in its power division, reducing the size of the unit’s work force by 18 percent as part of a push to compete with international rivals in a saturated natural gas market, adjust to “softening” in the oil and gas sectors and stay abreast of the growing demand for renewable energy.

Solar and wind energy technology is increasingly being deployed Continue reading

Videos: Office rezoning, Georgia Power, Alcohol, and road abandomnent @ LCC 2017-11-14

They added and agenda item for 7.p. Solicitor-General’s VOCA Grant Renewal; yes, really, the agenda was so long that’s sub-item letter P and the meeting was 51 and a half minutes long.

Longest at seven minutes was 6a. REZ-2017-11 Arrow Engineering, in which the County Commissioners ignored the Planning Commission’s recommendation to deny, and the County Planner’s observation the previous morning that the applicants would accept one acre. Instead they approved 2.5 acres with no conditions as Office Institutional (OI) in an area with no other instances of that.

At six minutes, 7.n. Georgia Power- VisionFirst was about putting $25,000 to hire an unnamed consultant for a joint project for unspecified results.

Update 2017-11-22: According to Chairman Bill Slaughter, the consultant is VisionFirst Advisors out of Tallahassee.

Did they mean the sinkhole-infested Mission Creek instead of 7.k. Grant of Easement for Utility Right of Way Moody-Mission Point?

Five minutes included questions from the Chairman and resulted in a split vote and a stern warning on 7.i. Beer, Wine & Liquor License – Liquor Barn, 3990 N. Valdosta Rd.

One of the two road abandonments, 7.a. Abandonment of Lane Road and a Portion of Sheavette Road, got a very rare split vote, with Commissioner Clay Griner voting alone against.

Below are Continue reading

Videos: Hurricane Irma, Register rezoning, Utility Authority @ LCC 2017-09-26

23 minutes last night to approve 3:2 with many conditions rezoning the 6c. REZ-2017-09 Robert A. Register Estate, with no shouting afterwards like there was at at the previous evening’s Planning Commission meeting, yet a lot of grumbling at the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, especially since they seem to have forgotten the greenspace condition.

Biggest crowd in a long time, REZ-2017-09 Robert A. Register Estate

I would like to commend the Commission for the amount and depth of discussion in this meeting, especially in the unscheduled 10. Commission Comments and Recognitions and Meeting Adjournment, which was mostly about Clay Griner’s idea of having a county-wide utility authority including all the cities in the county. Update 2017-10-20: moved the rest of this utility authority commentary down to the video item below.

Also not on the agenda was Chairman Slaughter comments on community response to Hurricane Irma (which were mostly about county staff; well-deserved especially for Ashley Tye) and Georgia Power Representative recognizes county hurricane response.

While it’s great that Georgia Power came to compliment the county, does that electric utility rep. reside in or pay property taxes in Lowndes County, and why was he not required to state his name and address? Ditto the software salesman for Continue reading

Solar panels at Valdosta Airport 2017-08-16

Prominently visible as you approach the terminal from Valdosta to catch a flight:

Solar panels behind passenger terminal sign
Pictures by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange 2017-08-17

VRA’s web page curiously includes no mention I can find of these solar panels, which I would think would be great advertising for the airport. Continue reading

Big Bets keep getting worse for Southern Company

OSHA certified a “continuing pattern of retaliatory treatment” at Kemper “clean” Coal after an employee alerted Southern Company of alleged fraud: SO fired him, refused to hire him back and now he’s suing. Plant “new nukes” Vogtle also had impossible projections from the start and is even later and more overbudget, while anybody from GA-PSC to Georgia EMCs to the Florida PSC or even PowerSouth in Alabama could bring it down. Somebody put Plant Vogtle out of its misery so we can get on with solar power in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and everywhere else.

Plant Vogtle reactors 3 and 4
Two new cooling towers and construction cranes mark the work sites for nuclear reactors 3 and 4 at Plant Vogtle in east Georgia. The project is currently $3.6 billion over budget and almost four years behind the original schedule. JOHNNY EDWARDS / JREDWARDS@AJC.COM, in Plant Vogtle: Georgia’s nuclear ‘renaissance’ now a financial quagmire by Russell Grantham and Johnny Edwards, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 19 May 2017.

Kemper “clean” Coal

Doyle LLP, PRNewswire, 8 August 2017, Whistleblower in Kemper Project Sues Southern Company and CEO: OSHA ruled former company engineer faced “continuing pattern of retaliatory treatment” Continue reading

Major climate change victory in U.S. House on Bastille Day 2017-07-14

On the anniversary of the French Revolution against a corrupt old regime, the U.S. House of Representatives took a step towards independence from the clammy grip of the fossil fuel companies. This has direct implications on Moody AFB. No more pipelines. Solar power now.

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, 14 July 2017, In Landmark Move, GOP Congress Calls Climate Change ‘Direct Threat’ to Security: Extreme weather and rising seas threaten bases from Virginia to Guam. For the first time, a Republican House has voted to recognize that.,

One study last year found that rising oceans threaten 128 military installations on the coasts, including naval facilities worth around $100 billion.

The Pentagon has been aware for years of Continue reading