Solar power projects are going to rise in Georgia and Alabama. Georgia Power just got the approval from state regulators while Alabama Power is presently doing a research project regarding solar power. These could give a big boost solar power in the area.
State utility regulators recently approved Georgia Power’s proposal to buy 50 megawatts of solar power by the year 2015. The utility’s plan is to sign up agreements with several solar-power producers to meet its goal.
The solar power providers must be able to connect to the transmission grid of Georgia Power or any of its sister utilities Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Alabama Power. Georgia Power will enter 20-year agreements with providers to buy their solar. A megawatt of electricity is enough to power 450 houses.
Georgia Power’s proposal was approved unanimously but Public Service Commission Chairman Stan Wise warned that he would oversee that utility rates would not increase. The price of solar power technology has decrease bit solar power remains expensive compared to traditional energy sources. At present, solar and other alternative energy sources are heavily subsidized by the government.
Georgia Power filed the plan after PSC gave the utility 30 days to submit ideas for large-scale solar energy projects. The utility is currently buying up to 4.4 megawatts of solar power from independent power producers.
In other news, its sister utility Alabama Power installed 40 solar panels on utility poles across its service territory. This is part of its research that would determine how the panels would work in a hot, humid, and cloudy climate.
The utility is installing solar panels on utility poles in Birmingham. The installations are just enough to power several bulb lights but it would give the utility an idea of how the solar panels efficiency is affected by Alabama’s climate. Aside from the poles, the utility is also installing panels at various Alabama facilities, which includes the Water Course education center in Clanton.
It is known that solar panels decrease their efficiency when the temperature gets hotter. The project would try to determine how the technology would work with their system. Hopefully the utility will get enough data so that it could start on bigger solar power projects.
Aside from the solar panel installations, Alabama Power will place interactive kiosks at locations around the state. The kiosks would show the energy production from the solar panel systems. The information gathered will be used to determine the efficiency of the installations across the state.