Environment

New renewable energy in Georgia reduces cost for all customers

Last week, the Georgia Public Services Commission approved Georgia Power’s Integrated Resource Plan, a long-term planning tool that helps to guide the company’s development strategy. We’re pleased that as a result of efforts by Google and others, the plan calls for 1,500 megawatts (MW) of new renewable development for the state as well creation of an additional 200MW program for commercial and industrial customers who wish to buy renewables more directly.

This is a big deal for a region that is still in the early stages of scaling up opportunities for renewable energy. Our utility provider Georgia Power, responding to customer demand for wind, solar, and biomass, now has almost 2,000MW of renewables online in the state, and approval for an additional 1,500MW as a result of this IRP. This is a win for clean energy advocates and all Georgia Power customers, as the renewables coming online will only be authorized if they are cheaper than Georgia Power’s existing grid power, meaning that each MW of renewables coming online will reduce the cost of energy for all customers.

The 200MW C&I purchasing program is the result of urging by Google and a consortium of national and international businesses.  We participated in the regulatory process to encourage Georgia Power to adopt more, cost effective renewables, and enable commercial and industrial customers to directly procure renewable power in the state. While the details of this program will need to be fleshed out and approved by the Georgia PSC, we are hopeful that this program will give companies like Google a scalable and sustainable way to source clean energy in Georgia.  We look forward to continue working with Georgia Power, the PSC, and other stakeholders in the development of this program and share updates on our progress.