Regulators Unanimously Approve Clean, Affordable Wind Power for Georgia Power Customers

Today, members of the Public Service Commission voted unanimously to approve contracts to bring clean, affordable wind power to Georgia Power customers. Starting in 2016, the two contracts will import 250 megawatts (MW) of wind power from Oklahoma, enough to power more than 50,000 Georgia homes. GreenLaw, on behalf of the Sierra Club, intervened in the proceeding where Georgia Power asked the Public Service Commission (PSC) for approval of these contracts. More than one thousand Georgia Sierra Club members have taken action in support of the wind contracts.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 20, 2014

CONTACT:
Ashten Bailey, GreenLaw, (404) 659-3122, abailey@greenlaw.org 
Jenna Garland, Sierra Club,(404) 281-6398, jenna.garland@sierraclub.org

Regulators Unanimously Approve Clean, Affordable Wind Power for Georgia Power Customers

ATLANTA, GA Today, members of the Public Service Commission voted unanimously to approve contracts to bring clean, affordable wind power to Georgia Power customers. Starting in 2016, the two contracts will import 250 megawatts (MW) of wind power from Oklahoma, enough to power more than 50,000 Georgia homes. GreenLaw, on behalf of the Sierra Club, intervened in the proceeding where Georgia Power asked the Public Service Commission (PSC) for approval of these contracts. More than one thousand Georgia Sierra Club members have taken action in support of the wind contracts.

“Sierra Club members overwhelmingly supported these wind power contracts to bring clean, cheap wind to power our homes and businesses here in Georgia, and our Public Service Commissioners did the right thing by voting to approve them,said Seth Gunning, Beyond Coal organizer with Sierra Club. “This leadership from the PSC will bring real benefits to Georgia families and proves again how clean energy is powering Georgia and America.”

The Sierra Club has worked with GreenLaw and partners across the state to advocate for more clean energy, like wind and solar, to power Georgia ’s homes and businesses for years. Over the last four years, two new proposed coal-fired power plants have been canceled, Georgia's last proposed coal plant has failed to break ground, and Georgia Power has chosen to phase out more than one quarter of their coal and oil-burning power plants. During this time, Georgia Power, Cobb EMC and private companies have chosen new solar projects to provide power to their customers and facilities. Through its Advanced Solar Initiative, Georgia Power is bringing more than 700 megawatts of solar power to Georgia, enough to power more than 100,000 homes.

The two contracts under consideration will import power from Blue Canyon Wind Farm, the nation’s largest wind farm near Lawton, Oklahoma. The project has been producing clean energy since December 2003 and has been expanded multiple times. According to Georgia’ Power’s analyses, these wind purchases are cheaper than other forms of electric generation already on the grid and will put downward pressure on rates. In fact, wind power projects in multiple states have lowered rates for consumers or kept rates from increasing.

“GreenLaw is pleased to see the Commission support clean, affordable wind power for Georgians,” said Ashten Bailey, staff attorney at GreenLaw. “Wind power doesn’t use our precious water resources. Wind power also keeps our power bills stable, while electricity from coal keeps getting more and more expensive."

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GreenLaw is a Georgia-based nonprofit law firm serving environmental and community organizations that have been adversely impacted by pollution. Since 1992, GreenLaw has achieved these goals by providing free, high-quality legal and technical assistance to environmental organizations and community groups throughout Georgia. For more information, visit www.greenlaw.org and follow @greenlaw_GA on Twitter.

The Sierra Club is America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Inspired by nature, we are 2.4 million of your friends and neighbors, working together to protect our communities and the planet. Read more at http://www.sierraclub.org.