The Climate Action Team invites you to join in on our Fun and Easy Activism call to support you in taking action. Next week, we will demand that Georgia Power stick to its promise to build clean energy sources here in our state and refrain from building additional plants powered by fossil fuels.

Here is the issue: there are many large commercial and industrial businesses looking to build in Georgia. In contrast to residential and small businesses, large companies have the freedom to choose where to obtain their electricity. This means that they can choose to go with options that include non-profit electricity co-ops, many of which are sourcing from large solar arrays.

Georgia Power sees the opportunity to gain these companies’ business, but they did not account for the additional power that would be needed to produce the electricity that would make them a viable option when the IRP (Integrated Resource Plan) was approved in 2022. Now, in order to be an option for these businesses, they have requested the Public Service Commission (PSC) permit them to grow their power generation capability. The plan would allow them to:

  • Build three oil and gas-burning turbines to produce up to 1,400 megawatts (MW) of electricity at Plant Yates in Coweta County.
  • Continue buying 750 MW from corporate cousin Mississippi Power that will postpone the retirement of a coal-fired plant in that state.
  • Continue purchasing 230 MW from a gas-fired power plant in Florida.
  • Add 1,000 MW of new battery storage. That includes a project that would pair 200 MW of new solar with a 200-MW battery energy storage system (BESS), plus a similar-sized BESS connecting to existing solar at Robbins and Moody Air Force Bases.

This means that 70% of the added capacity Georgia Power requests to build will be from fossil fuel sources. In addition, they contend that they need to act so quickly that they need to bypass the competitive bidding process.

Many experts are offering alternatives to this plan. Some have suggested that Georgia take advantage of the incentives included in the Inflation Reduction Act. Others have offered alternatives that include incentives for homeowners to install battery systems in their homes. 

If you would like to take a deeper dive into the issue and take action with us as a team, we would love to have you join us on Thursday, April 4, at 6:30 PM for our Fun and Easy Activism call. It really is EASY and we definitely have a little FUN. We take a quick deep dive, take action with the support of the group, then have fun with a game or conversation. The time flies by! If you would like to join us, send Nicole an email at hip2bveg@gmail.com. We’d love to have you join us.

If you would like to take action on your own, our team member, Bert Pearce, has offered his email to the PSC as an example below. Please feel free to make it your own and send it to the PSC and your representatives. 

Dear Commissioners Shaw and Johnson, 

My name is ___________ and I live in ___________ County.  Georgia Power has recently filed a request to amend its electric generation plan to add 1400 MW of fossil-fuel-fired generation and to extend the life of Plant Scherer, one of the country’s largest coal-fired plants.  I urge you to deny this request.

Georgia Power’s IRP, their 20-year plan for generation resources, was approved only 1½ years ago. This is a 20-year plan – how could they come back in just this short time to claim they didn’t see increased demand coming? Ridiculous! Governor Kemp has been in office for 5 years now. Throughout his terms he has championed Georgia as a location for new industry and actively recruited new businesses, with lots of success. How could Georgia Power not be prepared for this?!

My understanding is that many of the supposed new projects that Georgia Power cites in its request are not in their service territory and also could be serviced by our electric coops with existing generation resources. Georgia Power says they need the added generation to stay competitive. This statement is ridiculous, as they already have a monopoly in their service areas. Looks to me like they just want more profits for their shareholders, but their company profit is not the obligation of Georgia Power ratepayers or the Georgia Public Service Commission.

I think that our state needs to be moving forward with the addition of renewable resources such as solar and wind that will add to our existing solar and nuclear capacity. Let’s not move backwards with Georgia Power’s knee jerk request for more fossil fuel generation. We need more renewables to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and to address worsening climate change.

I urge you to reject this request from Georgia Power in its entirety. Any supposed need for additional resources should be addressed in the next Integrated Resource Plan hearings in 2025. 

Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

 Your Name

__________ County, Georgia

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JOURNEY WITH US: The Climate Action Team is for you because, well, the planet needs your urgent action – and we need each other as we navigate these changing times. Learn all about the group here,  and check out our minutes and take action table, our lending library and the Carbon Offset Fund. You can also request to join the Climate Action Team on Realm. Contact Jon Reese to connect to the CAT and join us for our next Zoom meeting on Monday, April 15, at 7:30 PM using this link.