PSC approves plan ordering Georgia Power to add more solar power

Thursday July 11, 2013 03:42 pm EDT


  • Joeff Davis
  • Pro-solar energy demonstrators respond to honking cars this morning in front of the Gold Dome. The Public Service Commission voted today to approve a plan that could greatly expand solar power in the state.

State regulators today approved a plan that would require Georgia Power to use more solar energy - a move the powerful utility, backed by some conservative organizations, fought. The actual impact of the plan passed today by the Public Service Commission - and which could add more than 525 megawatts of solar power in Georgia - must still be analyzed.

But today's hearing and vote capped several weeks of heated debate and questions about solar power's future in Georgia. People on both sides of the issue packed a standing-room only hearing today at the PSC. Demonstrators called for more clean energy at a pro-solar energy rally in front of the Gold Dome. And inside the Capitol, a conservative group warned of financial consequences of expanding solar energy in Georgia.

The day started with roughly 40 pro-solar demonstrators rallying in front of the Gold Dome with signs and chants like "2, 4, 6, 8, solar power can't wait." Demonstrators, which included members of the Sierra Club and Georgia Tea Party Patriots, fanned across Washington Street in front of the Capitol. The group cheered when their enthusiasm was met by honking cars.

"I support clean energy, I support not blowing up the Appalachian Mountains to obtain coal and I prefer being on the right side of history," said Chris Theal. Sierra Club volunteer Nina Dutton said she came to the rally because the PSC's vote on solar energy offered an "unusual opportunity to push Georgia Power in the right direction."

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