As time moves on and solar technology improves, the costs of implementing solar power in new places continues to go down. On the opposite end of that, the fossil fueled energy sources of the past require periodic upkeep to maintain their own production. And that upkeep comes with the ongoing problem of pollution that have so many people looking away from fossil fuels and into newer, cleaner energy sources.
Simply put, rather than pay more money to maintain old power plants, those funds can be better applied toward investing in more modern means of producing energy.
This concept has recently been taking shape in the State of Georgia where a recent, overwhelming demand through one solar energy initiative prompted even more initiative that has the state on a promising track. Take a look at an excerpt from this article that details some of the big news coming out of the Peach State…
Georgia Power’s new solar energy program provides customers the opportunity to apply to sell the company power from the solar panels on their homes or businesses.
There were so many applications for the first round in March that a waiting list was set up.
Now that the utility company is under orders to triple its solar energy portfolio, lots more Georgians will have the opportunity.
Whether the state’s largest electrical utility should be required to use more solar power became the key point of debate — and even rallies and protests — over Georgia Power’s Integrated Resource Plan, which was amended and approved Thursday by the Georgia Public Service Commission.
With solar in the spotlight, there wasn’t much talk about the other major changes in the plan — the shuttering of the system’s oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants, and additional air quality upgrades at some other plants.
Plant Yates in Coweta County will stop burning coal as of April 2015. Units 1 through 5 will be shut down and Units 6 and 7 will be converted to natural gas. The first five units were built in the 1950s and use “once through” cooling with water from the Chattahoochee River. Units 6 and 7 went online in 1974 and use a closed loop cooling system.
With only two units, the total output of the plant will be decreased by about 45 percent. When the proposal was announced in January, Georgia Power Spokesman Mark Williams said total employment at the plant would go from 224 to 106. He said at the time that there would be no layoffs from the retirement of Yates or the other plants. Instead, there would be transfers, retirements, and attrition.
The other coal-fired plants in Georgia will be shut down completely: Plant Branch on Lake Sinclair near Milledgeville, Plant Kraft near Savannah, and Plant McManus in Brunswick. Georgia Power is also decertifying a small oil-fired unit at Plant Bowen near Cartersville, and units 2 and 3 at Boulevard in Chatham County.
Georgia Power’s “Advanced Solar Initiative,” approved in late 2012, is a plan to add 210 megawatts of solar energy over the next two years. It’s divided into 45 MW of “distributed generation” — mainly solar panels on homes and businesses, and “utility scale” generation.
This step forward will likely be one of many to come for states that have been hesitant to give further incentive to the implementation of cleaner technologies. With solar energy leading that charge, it only makes sense to expect technologies to further improve and costs to continue to drop.
To read the rest of the article referenced above about the big steps Georgia has made, head here: http://www.times-herald.com/local/20130714Georgia-Solar-Power-Yates-etc–