Georgia Chapter

 Ocmulgee Sierra Club - Conservation Group

Energy Issues        Water Issues       Air Quality Issues     Betrayal of Oaky Woods    Rail to Pipe 


July 18, 2011

 "The Last Mountain" screening, discussion - Jul 18

This documentary follows a group of W. Virginians as they try to prevent coal companies from mining a local mountaintop. Discussion leaders include State Senator Robert Brown and author Chuck Leavell.

  • Date: July 18, 2011
  • Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Location: Douglass Theatre, 355 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Macon, GA
From "The Last Mountain" - This documentary follows a group of ordinary citizens in West Virginia as they try to prevent coal companies from mining a local mountaintop. Written by Bill Haney and Peter Rhodes. Directed by Haney.

The Sierra Club, Altamaha Riverkeeper, State Senator Robert Brown, and invited guest Chuck Leavell of the Rolling Stones and author of "Growing a Better America: Smart, Strong and Sustainable" are leading the showing of "The Last Mountain" and an energy discussion.

Screening and discussion: Jul 18, 2011 from 6:00pm - 9:00pm at Douglass Theatre, 355 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Macon, GA Bill Haney, director 'The Last Mountain'

This is the unofficial homepage  - you may also want to vist the state sponsored- > Official Page

*** Meet at High Street Church (here)
Tuesday, January 6th, 2009  ***

Video: Recyclables being dumped into garbage

Friday, Jan. 02, 2009

By S. Heather Duncan -

By S. Heather Duncan -

A Macon resident shot video showing Macon public works employees throwing recyclables into the garbage on multiple occasions, a complaint that residents have voiced over the years.

Macon officials have said repeatedly that they had no proof for such allegations and that employees are aware they could get in trouble for throwing separated newspapers and white paper from designated recycling bins into the garbage.

Richard Powell, who took over as director of the city's s Public Works Department two weeks ago, said he has heard one anonymous complaint about this happening in the Forest Hill Road area, prompting supervisors to closely monitor garbage pickup there.

Videos labeled as being shot on four consecutive weeks from the end of November through December, as well as photos from an earlier date, were provided anonymously to The Telegraph.

They clearly show sanitation workers throwing newspapers from a recycling bin into the garbage truck, followed by the truck compacting them, and workers dumping the contents of recycling bins directly into trash cans before putting the trash into the truck.

Powell said workers caught throwing recyclable paper into the trash would first receive a verbal warning, then a written warning, progressing through the usual stages of disciplinary action.

“First we have to be sure they’re aware they’re not supposed to be doing that,” he said.

Andrew Blascovich, a spokesman for the mayor’s office, said Wednesday that the city hadn’t come to any conclusions, but it “had the appearance” of some employees taking shortcuts on their route.

“Like any citizen concern, we will do our due diligence on it,” Blascovich said.

Supervisors spot-checked garbage crews Wednesday and will be keeping an eye on the total flow of recyclable paper to see if the amount collected has dipped recently, he said.

Evan Koplin, president of Macon Iron, said the company generally received about 77 tons of newsprint a month when the city started limiting pickup of recyclables to just paper in 2004. Lately, he said, he is receiving an average of about 20 tons of newsprint a month.

Koplin said that based on studies, if the city were collecting paper for recycling the way it should be, he should be averaging about 112 tons per month.

He said he received a copy of the video several weeks ago and spoke to city government officials about it, but nothing immediately changed.

“We let the city know right away, but it continued to happen for another three weeks,” Koplin said. “It’s pretty frustrating. You have people trying to do the right thing (by recycling), and nobody seems to care.”

Officials said the Public Works Department just started tracking how often the recycling bins on each truck are emptied.

The garbage trucks have a box on the back to hold the recyclable paper, the only item Macon recycles through its curbside program.

Powell said when the boxes fill up, crews on the garbage trucks call another truck from public works to come and empty the bin without interrupting the garbage route.

Macon offered full curbside recycling from 1993 until 2004, when the city cut back to accepting just paper for recycling.

Complaints about city workers throwing out the papers surfaced shortly after the change.

The Public Works Department has had an interim director for almost two years and is in the process of hiring an assistant director for sanitation.

Koplin said the program needs to be done correctly ­ or not at all.

“I’d rather they discontinue it than not do it right,” he said. “Seeing this charade just makes me mad.”

Writer Travis Fain contributed to this report. To contact reporter Heather Duncan, call 744-4225. To contact reporter Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334

Dear Ocmulgee Sierrans,

June 7, 2007 meeting
*Fletcher will contact local Macon newspapers, WMAZ, & Cox to advertise future meetings.  Vicki and Susan C. plan to contact Warner Robins newspapers. Thanks!
*Our Fall/Winter project will focus on air pollution and more specifically, mercury contamination.  Everyone should try to contact another group (perhaps, a hunting/fishing group) to sponsor a workshop so that we we could educate them and others regarding the problem.  Let's email each other to keep everyone posted over the Summer regarding efforts to set up a program for the Fall.
*Susan H. said she'll put together some information and email it to everyone so that we'll be more knowledgable about the mercury issue.
*We also need to find out the status of the cap and trade proposal so that we can follow through on this.  Volunteers?
*Fletcher is going to explore the mosquito spraying program to see if/how Bibb's money may be used more productively.
*Not much enthusiasm for a fundraiser.  Lindsay, how do we get chapter money from Atlanta?
*Vicki wants everyone to send her recycling info- refer to her recent email.
*Hope everyone has a great summer- our next meeting is September 6.  Other scheduled meetings are 10/4, 11/1, & 12/6.  All meetings are 7:00 at the Joshua Cup.

 Fletcher Winston <>

Minutes of last meeting below:

Hi Ocmulgee Sierrans!

May 10th 2007  meeting at the Joshua Cup.

1. We welcomed Vicki Coulter to the group.  Vicki has expertise in the area of global warming and gives presentations in the community to educate people about this environmental problem.
2. We're going to establish a database on our website that lists the recycling locations in the Macon/Warner Robins/Perry areas.  Please bring recyling information with you to our next meeting and we'll start developing a formal list.  Fletcher offered to help Vicki with this project over the summer.
3. It was suggested that we have a focused environmental project for the fall.  It seems like the project will address global warming/air pollution.  Ideas generated so far include:
(a) a yard sale fundraiser to raise money for something like CFL bulbs that we can then distribute to lower income individuals
(b) educating people regarding sealing windows, using an effective thermostat, using a water heater blanket, encouraging energy audits
(c) power plant tour
(d) a presentation by Vicki (thanks!)
PLEASE BRING MORE IDEAS TO OUR NEXT MEETING.  We can choose two or three? and begin to work on them over the summer to prepare for the fall.
4. Do we want to have a social gathering or outing over the summer?  If so, what?  Please bring thoughts about this to the next meeting.
5. There is a Sierra Club 101 orientation meeting in Atlanta, June 23 from 10:30-12:00.
6. Kathleen mentioned that there is a GA Sierra Club retreat planned for November in St.Simon's Island.
7. Our next meeting is June 7,  7:00 p.m., at the Joshua Cup.
Thank you!!!

March 29, 2007 meeting at the Joshua Cup.
See you for Earth Day!
1. The Joshua Cup seems to be a good meeting place.  It's relatively quiet, inexpensive, and we can reserve a room for $20 if we need it for a speaker or movie.  I'll arrange a meeting there for May.
2. No meeting in April.  We'll correspond via e-mail to prepare for Earth Day at the Ocmulgee National Monument on April 21.  I'll be there at 9:00 to set up the table and chairs.  The event lasts from 10:00-4:00.  Susan H. will be there most of the day.
3. Lindsay has a Sierra Club banner.  Can I come by to pick it up sometime soon?
4. We'll distribute information at the tables concerning:  (a) recycling (I'll get some info), Susan C.-could you prepare some freecycle info? (b) global warming (Linda brought some info to the meeting and will explore other materials).
5. Susan H. suggested distributing seedlings.
6. Linda will look into getting Sierra Club bumper stickers, pins, etc. from the GA office.
7. We can also distribute info about Plant Scherer.  Susan H., can you look into this?  You mentioned mercury emissions.
8. Other posibilities for the Earth Day table exist. Any ideas??
9. Lee said that we should talk to the Telegraph about environmental concerns.  Lee, could you look into this?
10. It was suggested that we have a public forum where the mayoral candidates could debate environmental issues.  Lindsay, could you look into this and when the candidates declare their intentions to run for office?
Thank you!!!

Thank you for attending Tuesday's meeting on Feb 27th.  Below are the "minutes" from the meeting.
1. We welcomed our newest member, Susan Clark. 
2. Several locations were discussed so that we will have a regular meeting place in the future.  Fletcher will look into Joshua Cup. Kathleen will look into Marco's, Off Broadway Deli, and the new bagel bakery.
3. Several ideas were raised regarding group goals.  Overall, these seem to fall into a few general categories: air pollution, global warming, hazardous waste, and open space-development. 
4. More specific proposals address the following:
(a) asking the city of Macon to use only fluorescent lightbulbs [Kathleen, could you please look into this?]
(b) providing tax breaks for solar panels [Sue H., could you please look into this- I think it was your idea:)]
(c) organizing collection of hazardous waste [Sue H., could you please look into this]
(d) providing recycling information [Fletcher will look into this]
(e) turn off the lights campaign
5. We also discussed setting up a table at the Ocmulgee Mounds for Earth Day [Fletcher will contact Patti Ellis to arrange this; please bring more ideas to our next meeting for what we'd like to do at the event]
6. Susan C. suggested posting recycling information on our website.  Please pass it along to Lindsay.

Thank you, everyone, for your help!  See you on March 29!

Energy Issues        Water Issues       Air Quality Issues     Betrayal of Oaky Woods   

Recycling News
by - Susan Clark

Here is a user group on the Internet that you can give away items and you can ask for items, and here is the link:
Someone also brought some area recycling places that take cardboard could you please tell where those are again. 
Metalmax provides metals recovery and cost effective EPA certified refrigerant recovery
Bob Moore - -  478-788-1056
815 Richmond St in Macon 31206

"V.A. Coulter" <>
Subject: How to Sign Up for Green Power in Middle Georgia

Yes, Green Energy is available through both Flint Energies (1 block monthly = $4) and Georgia Power (1 block monthly = $4.50).  

Here are links to more info:

GA Power = 1-800-735-7791 =

Flint  = 478-988-3930  =


They currently generate electricity through Landfill Methane projects and Low-Impact Hydro.  Perhaps if more people sign up they might look more closely at more renewable sources.


If the extra $/mo is a strain – sign up for 2 blocks to start (~ 20% of average household). Then as you save energy with new habits, you can invest the $ saved into more blocks of Green Energy. Keep this up and pretty soon you’re electricity will be off of Fossil Fuels and at a lower consumption rate w/o breaking the bank!

Georgia Solar Energy Association
Supporting Renewable Energy in Georgia
May 10, 2007

The Honorable Bobby Baker
Chairman, Georgia Public Service Commission
244 Washington Street, SW
Atlanta GA, 30334

Regards: Docket 24505-U, Comments on Georgia Power’s Integrated Resource Plan by members of

Georgia’s Renewable Energy Industry

Dear Chairman Baker,

We, the undersigned, present this letter in response to Georgia Power’s Integrated Resource Plan and the
need for increased priority to be placed on renewable energy production in Georgia. Business owners,
industry professionals, and advocates for a viable and thriving renewable energy industry in Georgia
would like to see the Public Service Commission support policies and provide directions to Georgia
Power that will accelerate renewable energy production and serve the general public interest in solar,
wind and biomass development. Participants in the renewable energy industry in Georgia have serious
concerns related to Georgia Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

We appreciate the public service and responsibility of each member of the PSC.

Georgia’s future depends on a wise mediation between the public interest, including the quality and

preservation of our natural and common resources, and Georgia Power’s findings as presented in this
proposed IRP. Fortunately, we now have another public resource for the PSC to reference during its
evaluation of the IRP. Georgia’s PSC should make every effort to scrutinize this IRP according to the
priorities and policy recommendations set forth in the Georgia State Energy Strategy. The Georgia
Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) under the direction of the Governor’s appointed Energy
Policy Council, developed and administered the comprehensive, professional, science based, and public
spirited energy plan process that produced the very credible State Energy Strategy. The influence of
utility companies in the final recommended state energy strategy was considerable. But, in the
stakeholder and public input framework of the planning process, that influence was not overwhelming.
Many of the energy strategy’s identified priorities deserve support and the PSC has a vital role in
validating and implementing those priorities.


Generally, we are concerned about the narrow and self interested framework of Georgia Power’s IRP.

This concern is not expressed as a condemnation. It is, rather, an acknowledgment. Peter Barnes, in his
2006 book - Capitalism 3.0 A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons - characterized the workings of our
economy as follows:

“Our current operating system is dominated by 3 algorithms . . . (1) maximize return to capital, (2)

distribute property income on a per-share basis, and (3) the price of nature equals zero . . . The first
algorithm is what drives corporations. It tells them to sell as much as they can, pay as little as possible
for labor, resources, and waste disposal, and make shareholders happy every quarter . . . This doesn’t
mean people inside corporations don’t think about protecting nature, raising their workers’ pay, or
giving something back to society. Often, they do. It does mean their room for actually doing such
things is too narrow to make a difference . . . For all practical purposes, the publicly traded
Chairman Baker, May 10, 2007, Page 2 of 8
corporation is a slave to its algorithm... Corporate communications departments would try to maximize
the appearance of social responsibility for the lowest actual cost. We’d see beautiful ads and reports
but little change in core behavior.”

Unfortunately, in this crucial era of climate change, environmental degradation, and perilous

dependence on fossil fuel and foreign fuel imports, the framework of Georgia Power’s IRP is
predominately business as usual. In the IRP main document, there is no serious disclosure of Georgia
Power’s generating operations’ impact on Georgia’s environment nor is there any serious reevaluation
of the consequences of the utility’s past decisions and investments to provide most of its electric power
output from burning coal.


When citizens pay attention to regulatory details, we understandably expect that when regulatory bodies

require a utility company to consider environmental impacts in its IRP, there will be open and
understandable public information about the environmental impact of the company’s operations on the
environment of its service territories. Instead, the environmental impact considerations in Georgia
Power’s IRP appear to be limited to the impact of environmental regulations and protections on the
operations of The Southern Company.
Externalized Costs of Energy Production:

In the first draft of the State Energy Strategy, there was idea 2.5(r), “evaluate the current processes that

the governing bodies charged with establishing utility rates use in establishing those rates. The study
could also consider improvement to ensure that all costs, including external environmental and public
health costs, are considered in the economic analysis of supply resources.”

Renewable energy and conservation are economically competitive with conventional energy production

and consumption when public health and environmental health costs are considered. The public health
costs and the environmental costs that are pushed off on the public sector, private citizens, and
unrepresented future generations of inhabitants ought to go into the rates we're paying for today’s dirty
energy. Unfortunately, this proposed idea was not included in the final version of the Strategy.

Apparently there is much reluctance between political office holders and conventional energy producers

to increase utility rates to account for some of the externalized environmental and health costs of energy
production practices. In the absence of will from our leadership, citizens ought to at least have official
access, through the IRP process, to accurate information about utility company impact on the
environment in which we live. The true price of nature does not equal zero, except perhaps, in the case
of fuel prices for solar and wind energy production.

Georgia’s Water Supply:

From Georgia State Energy Strategy Chapter 6 - Energy and The Environment

Section 2 - Water Quality and Water Supply:

“Steam generation and cooling processes in power plants take billions of gallons of water each year
from Georgia’s surface waters and groundwater. While most of this water is returned, a significant
portion is lost to evaporation . . . The pressures of a growing population and industries will tighten
water supplies in more regions of Georgia, making even less water available for energy production . . .
According to Sandia National Laboratory, coal generation requires 25 gallons of water for each
kilowatt-hour of generation (Sandia National Laboratories, 2005) . . . Sandia’s examination of this issue
concludes that consumers may indirectly consume as much water turning on the lights and running
appliances as they directly use taking showers and watering lawns. (Sandia National Laboratories, 2005)
. . .
Chairman Baker, May 10, 2007, Page 3 of 8
The State’s energy and water planners should pay close attention to the results of these studies and the
development of additional data and tools, and should incorporate them into future planning efforts.”
The water supply issue is not seriously addressed in the IRP plans for new coal and nuclear plant
construction in Georgia. The PSC should require Georgia Power’s IRP to address the State Energy
Strategy’s policy objective to “Minimize Water Supply and Water Quality Impacts of Energy
Production in the State Implementation Strategies.”


The emerging renewable energy industry relies heavily upon the insurance that the Public Service
Commission will continue to provide for premium buy back rates and long term interconnection
agreements to customers who are eligible for net-metering. Net-metering provides an incentive for many
individuals in the state who would like to invest in renewable energy systems on their private property.
Participants in the renewable energy industry would like to see Georgia Power provide longer term
contracts in their interconnection agreements with little to no monthly metering service charges.
Regarding IRP section 14.2 -

“Net Metering Standard – Section 1251of EPAct 2005 states: (11) NET METERING – Each electric

utility shall make available upon request net metering service to any electric consumer that the electric
utility serves.”

Georgia Power then states that, “ Georgia Power is exempt from the net metering requirement due to the

comparable standard passed by the Georgia State Legislature (Georgia’s Cogeneration and Distributed
Generation Act of 2001) so the state and Georgia Power are already in compliance and therefore the
EPAct requirement is not applicable.”

However, as described, Georgia's 2001 bi-directional legislation provided that “Utilities will purchase

energy until renewable-energy capacity reaches 0.2% of the utility's system peak. Eligible technologies
include photovoltaics (PV), fuel cells and wind systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) for residential
applications and up to 100 kW for commercial applications.”

The program ending limitation of 0.2% of the utility’s system peak is in direct conflict with the EPAct

provision that net-metering be “available upon request . . . to ANY electric consumer that the electric
utility serves.” This conflict indicates that Georgia’s legislation is NOT comparable to the EPAct and
the PSC should act to carry out the more expansive net-metering requirements in EPAct. Improvements
of this nature would encourage increased renewable energy investment by Georgia Power residential
and commercial customers.

In practical terms, consider that the IRP includes this information:

“ 1.12 THE DEMAND AND ENERGY FORECASTS A territorial peak demand of 17,160 MWs was

set on August 4, 2006 for the Georgia Power service territory. " and also from the IRP economics
section: “It is estimated that 105,000 new homes were built in Georgia in 2005. "
Accordingly, calculations show the 0.2 percent of peak demand net metering cap amounts to 34
megawatts, an amount equal to the output of 9714 residential 3.5 kw PV systems. Therefore, under
present net-metering constraints, net-metering could be denied after less than one in ten new homes in a
single year were equipped with solar PV systems. This constraint is a real barrier to the growth of
renewable energy production in Georgia.
Chairman Baker, May 10, 2007, Page 4 of 8

The 100 kw limit on commercial systems could also discourage consequential kw capacity investments

in Georgia that will be welcomed in other states. Certainly, the 100 kw limit ought to be waived for
projects in the Northeast Georgia area where demand growth is challenging the present grid capacity.
The executive summary of the State Energy Strategy includes the need to “implement a suite of policies
to encourage highly efficient distributed generation, including the development of statewide
interconnection standards (Strategy 1.9) and the development of a Georgia combined heat and power
roadmap (Strategy 1.10).” Renewable and native resource-based generation are promising and practical
elements for wide scale distributed generation capacity development in Georgia. Implementing the
net-metering and interconnection policies of EPAct 2005 is a necessary action in promoting the growth
of distributed generation from renewable and native alternative fuels.


Participants in the renewable energy industry are depending on the long-term success of Georgia

Power’s green power program to ensure that the Public Service Commission will continue to provide
premium buy back rates to owners of renewable energy systems. We are concerned that the current
program falls short in promoting immediate growth of renewable energy production.
It is not surprising that the public at large, including well-informed advocates for clean energy
production, has been reluctant to voluntarily contribute funds to Georgia Power under the present terms
of its green power program. First, almost none of the participants in the program will directly
consume the clean energy which they purchase, we are asked to send the extra money without materially
receiving anything in return. Second, there is the issue of trust in voluntarily contributing to a utility
company with a reputation of being generally non supportive of renewable energy production.
Georgia Power’s presentation of the green energy program in this IRP does little to address the trust
issue and does not indicate any near term prospects for significant growth in renewable energy

From IRP Main Document Section “ 10.1 GREEN ENERGY PROGRAM - . . . Georgia Power Company has

secured resources to meet the projected customer demand. Since the use of “green” power will be a
voluntary purchase by the customer, the growth of this program will be dependent on customers’
response. Also, since the program is voluntary, it will not have an adverse impact on non-participants.
Contracts for the renewable resources will likely be negotiated as customers’ interest in the “Green”
tariff produces additional need. The types of renewable resources will be determined at the time of need
based on availability, cost, mix of existing generation in the program and the resources available in the

Why must the entire program depend on voluntary purchases, more accurately, contributions from

extra-responsible consumers? The IRP description also insists on the complete discretion of Georgia
Power to determine the source of the renewable energy purchased by its well-meaning customers.
In order to promote a more successful and consequential green energy program, we ask the PSC and
Georgia Power to consider and enact the following improvements:

A. The PSC should require the program to become Green-e certified then provide extensive marketing

to ensure the success of the program:
Chairman Baker, May 10, 2007, Page 5 of 8

1. Green-e accreditation provides a reputable third party verification process to utilities who wish

to offer a green pricing program where customers opt to pay a premium price for a green energy

2. Accreditation builds support for green power in the community by working with a broad group

of stakeholder interests including renewable energy suppliers.

3. Green-e ensures that renewables are sourced from the customer's region - or if not, that the

customer is notified of the geographic location at which the renewable energy was generated.

4. The U.S. Green Building Council’s L.E.E.D. Certification allows Green-e certified renewable

energy purchases to earn points toward LEED Green Building Certification.

By requesting third party certification of the green power program, purchasers can be confident that the

premium product meets environmental and consumer hurdles acceptable to the majority of
environmentally concerned citizens. Extensive marketing for the program will ensure that all Georgia
Power customers are aware of the option to purchase green power as well as the benefits of the program.

B. Customers purchasing green energy should be given the option of choosing the source of their green

power and directing the purchase from the choice of providers that Georgia Power has identified. For
example, there could be a check off for solar, wind, methane, or best available resource.

C. Resources for the program should be doubled by a green tariff matching fund. This fund would

match the total amount raised from $ 4.50 per block voluntary purchases with a few pennies from each
other rate payer. Georgia Power’s green energy promotional flyer tells us that “The money you spend
will support renewable energy development that benefits every Georgian.” Indeed, it does. Placing a
minuscule green energy tariff matching fund amount on each customer’s electric bill does not constitute
“an adverse impact on non-participants.” It would more likely promote support for clean energy
production from the public at large. This small charge could pave the way for public support of the
State Energy Strategy’s proposed creation of “a Georgia Clean Energy Fund for energy efficiency and
other clean energy strategies (Strategy 5.3).”


In presenting the new demand side plan, Georgia power’s IRP introduces five new pilot demand side

management (DSM) programs. “If approved, the new pilot programs will result in 67 MWs of demand
reduction by the end of the two year pilot.”

The demand side plan should add a solar thermal pilot program. Other utilities have provided solar

water heaters to customers along with utility grade btu meters to certify system performance. Domestic
water heating is a significant share of the overall energy demand. Solar thermal technology provides a
means to heat most of our domestic hot water load with systems that will continue to produce over the
years of a typical residential mortgage. We recognize that the initial cost for such systems is
significantly higher than a water heater jacket or a home supply of compact florescent bulbs. Ideally, a
solar thermal DSM program would be a collaborative initiative. Gas and electric utilities should
materially participate with developers, builders, contractors, lenders, and planning and zoning boards to
promote this sensible, effective, and environmentally responsible DSM option. Electric utilities have a
huge stake in the reliability and price of natural gas. Therefore, they would materially benefit from solar
domestic water heating offsets of conventional natural gas water heating as well as offsets in electric
water heating.

We do not object to Georgia Power being compensated by rate payers for its DSM initiatives.

Chairman Baker, May 10, 2007, Page 6 of 8

This concept is consistent with Georgia’s State Energy Strategy “Strategy 3.15 – Consider Alternative

Utility Regulation Strategies That Allow Utilities to Recover Investments in Energy Efficiency.”
We hope that the PSC will be able to arrive at an appropriate value for compensation as it goes through
this IRP process review.

There is a notable contrast in Georgia Power’s proposal “that the collection of both program costs and

the Additional Sum amount for certificated DSM programs be accomplished through a DSM rider (or
riders) that would apply to Residential and Commercial class customers” and the previously cited green
energy program directive that the program “will not have an adverse impact on non-participants.”
We would also expect to cite this contrast in response to any resistance from Georgia Power
to all rate payers participating in a prospective Georgia Clean Energy Fund.

We call on the PSC to recognize that Georgia Power can market and sell Renewable Energy

Certificates (RECs) or Green Tags that it captures through renewable energy programs out on the
growing market for these instruments. Expanding renewable energy programs introduces a utility
company revenue source that will reduce demands on rate payers to compensate the utility company for
its efforts.


The Public Service Commission should consider requiring Georgia Power to place smart meters or timeof-

use meters on homes and businesses. There should also be serious consideration of mandatory
variable rates based on time of use.

IRP Main Document Section 14.5 - evaluating the Real Time Pricing Day Ahead (RTP-DA) and Real

Time Pricing Hour Ahead (RTP-HA) option states that “at current levels of coal and gas prices, there is
less differential between peak and off-peak prices which will provide less opportunity for savings.”

There are costs other than fuel in meeting peak demand - the facility capacity costs, the impact on air

and water quality, and the impact on water supply.

Georgia Power should encourage their customers to participate in demand management. The choice of

schedules in previously offered time of use rates should be continued. This would promote customer
awareness of the amount of power they are using during certain periods of the day and encourage them
to reduce their energy consumption during peak use periods.

Higher rates for peak use hours will also support premium buy back rates for production from customer

owned solar PV systems. Georgia’s State Energy Strategy recognizes that “solar systems also offer the
distinct advantage of being able to displace peak demand because they produce their highest electrical
output on the sunniest days, which typically correspond with high demand on the electrical system.”
We request that the PSC and Georgia Power pursue a coordinated effort to deploy solar PV as a
significant source of peak demand power. Time of use rates and program strategy to orient solar
collectors southwest to capture more late afternoon solar energy would be part the effort.
Chairman Baker, May 10, 2007, Page 7 of 8


The renewable energy industry has the potential to provide significant economic development to

Georgia. According to the Apollo Alliance, if Georgia were to fully invest in clean energy development,
we could potentially gain an additional $6.5 billion of economic activity in the state and create 101,585
new jobs, which would result in $4.1 billion of increased income in Georgia. The Commission should
take into account the economic development impacts of Georgia Power investing in renewable energy in
their long range plan.

According to the Georgia State Energy Strategy Final Draft, “ In 2001, the most recent year for which

data are available, Georgia residents and businesses spent over $19 billion on primary energy fuels,
nearly all of which left the state (EIA, Table S1b, 2005) . . . Encourage Development of Emerging
Clean Energy Industries: The development of renewable energy resources is a local endeavor, and
money spent for fuel and job opportunities created by energy producers remains within the state.
Given the prospects for the clean energy industry in the United States, promoting Georgia as a leader in
this field could provide substantial benefit for the state. According to research conducted by Clean Edge
. . . clean energy technologies . . . will grow four-fold within the coming decade.

Specifically, Clean Edge forecasts the following trends (Makower, Pernick, & Wilder, 2006):

1. Biofuels (global manufacturing and wholesale pricing of ethanol and biodiesel) will grow from

$15.7 billion in 2005 to $52.5 billion by 2015.

2. Solar PV (including modules, system components and installation) will grow from an $11.2

billion industry in 2005 to $51.1 billion by 2015.

3. Wind power (new installation capital costs) will expand from $11.8 billion in 2005 to $48.5

billion in 2015.”

Other nations and states are already out in front of Georgia in capturing the economic rewards of

renewable energy production. Germany, whose solar exposure is comparable to Alaska’s, is realizing
significant electrical production from grid connected solar PV panels because programs are in place to
pay a premium price for the power generated and metered from the PV installations. Several states have
wisely enacted renewable fuel portfolio mandates that require utilities to fuel a significant share of their
production with renewable resources. Unfortunately, no state in the Southern Company’s territory has
done so.

The PSC should consider that there are real economic risks, beyond our current losses, in endorsing an

IRP that extends the state’s reliance on coal as a primary source of electric power generation and fails to
promote an ambitious renewable energy program. As other governments and multinational corporations
unify to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Georgia will stand out as a disproportionate GHG
emitter. Outside investment will be drawn elsewhere to more attractive and environmentally
responsible areas.

In closing, we hope that the Commission will support and endorse renewable energy policy as it comes

forward in our state legislature and other regulatory arenas. Broader policies covered by state and
federal regulatory bodies such as Renewable Portfolio Standards, Public Benefit Funds, and Renewable
Energy Production Tax Credits provide many benefits to the renewable energy industry.
Chairman Baker, May 10, 2007, Page 8 of 8

Thank you for the opportunity to comment and we look to the Commission as a partner in promoting

the development of a green energy market for Georgia.


Ronald Cloud Vikram Sami Chair, Georgia Solar Energy Association
Macon Automation Company
Macon, Georgia Atlanta, GA
Darrin Primm Andrew Cohen George T. Andrews
Power Up Solar / Power Up, Inc. Emory University SOLAR SOURCE of Georgia
330 Austin Way Box 362
Auburn, GA 30011 Barnesville, GA 30204
Kelly Provence Keith Freeman
Solairgen, Inc. OneWorld Sustainable, Inc.
Dahlonega, Georgia 215 Lyman Hall Rd. / Savannah, Ga, 31410
William (Bill) Hosken Fred Fox
Solar Energy Marketing Inc. Fox Independent Energy Company
120 Churchill Drive Sugar Hill, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia, 30350

cc. The Honorable Chuck Eaton, Commissioner from District 3

The Honorable Doug Everett, Commissioner from District 1
The Honorable Angela Speir, Commissioner from District 4
The Honorable Stan Wise, Commissioner from District 5


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The mission of the Ocmulgee Conservation Group is to have good meetings and fellowship while we educate ourselves and the community about improving the state of our environment. We are a "Welcoming Group" in that we cherish diversity and we do not discriminate against members on the basis of their national origin, sexual orientation, religious preference, nor on either their nerdiness or general weirdness... : )   - -  Lets Roll.!.!.!.


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