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Wednesday, June 9, 2010 - 11:19am

Georgia To Join Coastal Wind Energy Consortium

Several states along the east coast have partnered with the federal government to push off-shore wind energy forward. Georgia is not among them, yet.

The intent of the consortium is to help establish guidelines for wind energy projects off the Atlantic coast and to streamline the permitting process.

Georgia was supposed to be among the ten states who banded together but it missed the deadline to appoint a representative says spokesperson for the Governor Bert Brantley.

"It was really just bad timing for us right in the middle of budget season," says Brantley.

He says the state will eventually join the consortium, but wind energy is not the state’s top priority when it comes to renewable energy.

"At the end of the day it will probably be other sources of alternative energy that Georgia will be involved in," says Brantley.

Brantley says the state is further along with solar and biomass projects because the commercial sector has pushed them forward.

Mary Hunt studies wind energy policy at Georgia Tech. She says neighboring states with stronger coastal wind are helping pave the way for wind energy projects and Georgia businesses will catch on.

"As they see economic development opportunities built around these endeavors in North Carolina and South Carolina then Georgia is going to follow suit," says Hunt.

Last month, Southern Company asked the federal government for leases off the coasts of Savannah and Tybee Island to continue studying wind energy.