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Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 3:54pm

Solar A Priority for New PSC Member

Solar energy made some progress in the state this past year, but not enough, say solar advocates. Among them is newly-elected Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols. Echols wants to make solar a priority at the PSC.

This year more tax credits and grants were created for renewable energy, and the state’s largest utility Georgia Power has raised its cap on how much solar it will put on the grid.

But the company can do more, says commissioner-elect Tim Echols.

"We have a utility in this state that’s very conservative. Georgia Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Company, is a very conservative, slow moving company but I assure you, I am going to be urging them to make progress in this area of solar."

Echols says the state should move solar forward before cap and trade becomes federal law.

Solar advocates see several state laws as hurdles. One is a law giving utilities a monopoly on service throughout the state, preventing other companies offering more solar from coming in and providing energy.