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Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 8:00pm

Competition Heats Up For Solar Energy

The competition to provide solar energy in the state is heating up. A company called Georgia Solar Utilities last week filed a proposal with the Public Service Commission to start an independent solar utility. Georgia Power plans to submit its own solar proposal this week.

Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft says their solar initiative has been in the works for a while.

He says “ Well we’ve been working with the PSC for the past several months really, to find some new ways we can responsibly add more solar to our mix of generation resources. But we want to do that without causing rates to go up for our customers.”

Georgia Solar Utilities proposes to generate up to five percent of the state’s power from the sun.

Kraft says Georgia Power was willing to consider buying energy from the plant, but Georgia Solar decided to try to set up in competition.

He says “They proposed that we would own the plant that they would be developing. In our evaluation of that, we determined that it was just not the best value for customers as it was presented.”

PSC Commissioner Bubba McDonald has been pushing for more solar energy. He says now is the time. “I’m excited for the consumers of Georgia. I’m excited because of the technological changes over the last 24 months with solar.”

McDonald thinks there is room enough for both companies to pursue solar energy.

He says “I’m excited that Georgia Power has finally stepped up to the plate. We did the 50 megawatt last year. They were great partners in doing that. But we’re talking about 2 giga watts.”

MacDonald says the plans both warrant a serious review.