The future of wind in Georgia Power’s energy portfolio was debated Thursday during a Georgia Public Service Commission committee meeting.
Starting next year, Georgia Power will get enough wind power from Oklahoma to power more than 50,000 homes as part of the utility’s first wind project.
The price of wind energy has been dropping, so advocacy groups say Georgia Power should quickly invest in more wind energy.
“People are paying about $10 a month on their power bills, every month, to finance the construction of two new nuclear units at plant Vogtle,” said Liz Coyle, executive director of Georgia Watch. “Here’s a certain opportunity that the company can move forward with, purchasing some low cost energy for consumers.”
Coyle and organizations like the Sierra Club contend that once a new federal clean power rule goes into effect, that might create more demand for wind energy. It also means prices could go up.
But Georgia Power told the public service commissioners it wants to decide next year, when the commission will look at the utility’s long-range energy plan.
“We want to make sure that when we do go out for wind, if we go out for wind, that it’s part of a total portfolio, that we consider alternatives, especially in-state options as alternatives,” said Brandon Marzo, an attorney who represents Georgia Power.
If commissioners don’t put wind power on next week’s agenda, it’s unlikely any discussion of more wind energy will happen until next year.