This week The Public Service Commission approved a Georgia Power Company plan to build its own solar plants. Georgia’s solar industry leaders say it’s a step in right direction, but a lot more needs to happen for the state to catch up in the solar marketplace.
Georgia Power got permission to put up solar collectors to supply about 1000 homes. It seems like a drop in the state's power bucket, but it’s a good start says Walter Brown with the Georgia Solar Energy Association.
“Georgia Power has to date not produced that much solar power, so it’s substantial increase for them, which is a good thing we’re very supportive of that,” Brown says. “We do believe that we have the industry in place and the demand in place to provide far more than one megawatt.”
For one Brown says Georgia is 38th in the nation when it comes to solar power supplied into the power grid by individuals. Georgia Power limits that private power generation to 2.5 megawatts. And customer who want only clean power from the utility have to pay a $5 dollar surcharge. States like North Carolina are far ahead of Georgia in terms of solar energy industries. Brown says with the right policies in place, Georgia could quickly catch up.