The Alabama Public Service Commission on Tuesday voted 3-0 to approve a proposal by Alabama Power to construct up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy generation projects in the state over the next six years.
A spokesperson for the company said the decision will allow Alabama Power – a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Co. – to meet the demands of larger customers that want to implement renewable energy to their portfolio, according to a report from AL.com.
Larger customers for Alabama Power include businesses and the military.
The renewable energy projects – which will be designed to meet the needs of a wide-range of specific Alabama Power customers – could include solar and wind installations of up to 80 megawatts each, or purchase agreements for renewable energy generated outside of Alabama.
Alabama Power, during a public hearing last month discussed the proposal. The company stated that the military, and many Fortune 500 companies, have implemented renewable energy mandates, and that having the ability to complete these types of projects will help attract industry to the company’s service area.
Time is also a factor in these mandates, with several of the companies having deadlines.
PSC members did, however, include modifications to the proposal initially submitted by Alabama Power, including requirements that the company submit generic requests for proposal on a biennial basis for projects submitted. Additionally, the requirements state that individual projects must have commission approval.
Up to 160 megawatts may be submitted and approved in a calendar year, without a written request to the commission.