The state Public Service Commission votes next week on Georgia Power’s 20-year plan, the road map for providing electricity to 2.4 million customers. That includes the mix of fuels the company will use and the efforts the company undertakes to get customers to use less energy. This happens every few years. But this time, Georgia Power also wants to retire 16 coal- and oil-fired power-generating units at six power plants.
The state's largest power company and one of its newest are fighting each other over the definition of "utility" at the Georgia Public Service Commission. Georgia Power says upstart Georgia Solar isn't a utility and shouldn't be given the privilege to compete for customers under the state's monopoly power laws. Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft says, the four-month-old Georgia Solar doesn't generate power.
Georgia lawmakers have introduced legislation designed to encourage private investment in renewable energy sources like solar power. Supporters of Senate Bill 401 said it is designed to allow customers and firms to use common financing mechanisms to fund new power generation facilities.
A Southeast Georgia solar energy company is turning over a part of its revenues to a trust fund benefitting Bulloch County. Officials from Tabby Power Solar Company say, the fund is starting small -- with a few thousand dollars invested and a few hundred dollars in annual contributions to the county budget. But, eventually, advocates say, solar power could make Bulloch County and the rest of rural Georgia financially independent.