Tue., November 20, 2012 3:20pm (EST)

Upstart Challenges Georgia Power
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 2 years ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
An official with Georgia Solar says market and technology advances allow it to provide power more cheaply than other utilities. The solar firm might have to lobby the legislature to get access to customers. (Mali Unaba)
An official with Georgia Solar says market and technology advances allow it to provide power more cheaply than other utilities. The solar firm might have to lobby the legislature to get access to customers. (Mali Unaba)
An upstart Georgia utility company says the price of solar has come down so much recently that it's time to rethink the state's monopoly power laws.

Georgia Solar Utility's stance puts it on a collision course with Georgia Power.

One of the state's newest utilities is taking on its largest in filings with the Public Service Commission.

Georgia Solar wants to compete for customers as utility.

That's a privilege monopolized to 94 companies under state law.

The solar company's Robert Green says technology and market advances allow Georgia Solar to generate cheap power.

"What we're saying is the advent of solar as a financially viable mechanism to generate electricity is so large that it's calling for some change," Green says.

Green says Georgia Power isn't acting to quickly enough get solar resources to market.

But, in filings with the PSC, Georgia Power says Green's company isn't a utility.

"We feel that they don't have the typical assets that most utilities in the state of Georgia usually have to offer to customers," Green says. "Things like generation resources, distribution lines and the ability to distribute any generation to their customers."

The solar firm might have to lobby the legislature to get access to electric customers.

The elected PSC has yet to schedule a hearing on their request.