by Jim Thompson
ATHENS 3/17/16 — Solarize Athens, an initiative to triple the number of solar power installations across Athens-Clarke, Madison and Oconee counties through the bulk purchase of equipment and installation services, has extended its application deadline to April 30.
Colleen McLoughlin, solar campaign organizer for Environment Georgia, one of the environmental groups behind Solarize Athens, said ongoing local interest in the program prompted Solarize Athens to extend the deadline by a month, to give more homeowners and business owners an opportunity to consider installing solar power equipment.
by Russell Grantham
ATLANTA 2/13/16 — Renewable fuels are poised to grow from a footnote into a small but meaningful part of the picture at Georgia’s biggest electric utility.
By 2020 solar, wind, biomass and hydro will account for 10 percent of Georgia Power’s fuel mix, according to a new long-term plan the company recently filed with state regulators. That’s up from about 7 percent this year, or just 2 percent not counting hydro. In 2005, non-hydro renewables were not even counted in the mix.
Critics say the pace is still too slow. And at least one questions the utility’s overall goal of boosting its capacity buffer — the extra juice it could generate during a severe heat wave or power outages — at a time when demand has been flattened by slower economic growth and better efficiency.
by Bruce Henderson
Greensboro, NC 7/7/15 — When Duke Energy connected the solar panels on the roof of a Greensboro church to its grid last week, solar advocates gained a symbolic but tentative victory.
Faith Community Church serves as a test of a North Carolina law that says only public utilities like Duke can directly sell electricity.
The advocacy group NC WARN owns the $19,000 solar array and wants to sell the electricity it generates to the church, despite the law, for about half what Duke charges.
The challenge, now before the N.C. Utilities Commission, is part of a growing move to bring solar power to rooftops across the state. A bill before legislators would also allow third-party sales, as they are called, by non-utility energy developers.