Originally published on Solar Love.
The US Solar Energy Industries Association has applauded Alabama Power’s proposal to install up to 500 MW renewable energy generation, the organization just announced in an email to Solar Love.
Also posted on its website, the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has urged the Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) to approve the proposal put forth by Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company, which would see up to 500 MW of renewable energy generation installed in the state.
Alabama Power released information on its proposal earlier in the month, which included a variety of projects of up to 80 MW each, totalling around 500 MW over a six year period. According to Alabama Power, the proposal “would provide broad options for the company to work with customers who have made renewable generation a priority, while protecting other customers from bearing additional costs.” It also notes that such capacity expansion could provide clean energy up to 100,000 homes across the service area.
“This proposal provides a common-sense path for expanding renewables in Alabama,” said Nick Sellers, Alabama Power vice president of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs. “The Public Service Commission has been clear that they do not want renewables to be subsidized by all of our customers. This filing achieves that policy directive while also allowing for solar and new renewable energy projects that are expected to provide economic benefit for all of our customers.”
In response, SEIA is urging the Alabama Public Service Commission to approve the proposal, explaining that Alabama would therefore “finally get to enjoy the economic and environmental benefits so much of the country is already reaping.”
“Approving this proposal is a no-brainer,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “In addition to the vast environmental benefits, increasing a state’s solar energy capacity will create numerous jobs and stimulate the local economy. Not to mention — satisfy the Alabama Power customers who have publicly stated their desire to have access to expanded renewable energy options.”
Alabama is currently among the bottom 10 states in the US in terms of installed solar capacity, with only 2 MW of solar installed across the whole state. However, as SEIA notes, “the state’s solar resource is actually greater than states like New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York – all of which rank in the top 10 nationally in installed solar capacity. In fact, Alabama receives nearly 50 percent more energy from the sun per square foot than Germany, the global leader in solar energy.”
“Alabama Power’s sister companies – Georgia Power, Mississippi Power and Gulf Power – are already adding renewable energy as part of a diverse generation portfolio,” Resch added. “PSC approval will allow Alabama Power the chance to join in, fueling the Southeast’s momentum as one of the fastest growing solar markets in the nation. When it comes to Alabama’s clean energy future, this would be one major step forward for a state that’s lagged behind in the renewables sector for far too long.”
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