The state of Georgia currently has about 61 MW of solar power. Over the next three years, its solar power capacity could be expanded to 210 MW.
Georgia Power filed with the Public Utilities Commission for approval of what might be the largest solar project in the state. However, it was said to not be enough by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
For example, Georgia Solar Utilities proposed to generate 2,000 MW. It was noted that even with weaker sunshine, Germany has expanded its solar capacity very much. Sunlight in Georgia is stronger, so it should have greater energy potential on that score. Critics of the energy industry in Georgia have said Georgia Power wields too much influence in the state legislation and has worked to block the flowering of renewable energy. (Georgia apparently is one of the states without a state requirement for developing clean energy.) If Germany’s huge solar expansion with relatively low levels of solar irradiation is unconvincing, consider that New Jersey is a solar leader in the United States (#2 for installed solar power capacity) but is far north of Georgia. Add Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts to the list of northern states that are working to expand their solar capacities.
Georgia’s solar potential has been rated as one of the top ten best states, but its current capacity is nowhere near that. (Florida is in a similar situation, with an abundance of sunshine, and apparently without much political will to take advantage of it.) In addition to the public health benefits associated with using less coal, constructing renewable energy results in new jobs and training opportunities. Regardless of some of these fundamental aspects of the situation, an insider has predicted that Georgia Power’s 210 MW solar proposal would be approved.
Image Credit: Billy Hathorn, Wiki Commons