Footnotes Issue #77: July 11th, 2013
Historic Day at the Public Service Commission, Commissioner McDonald Establishes Major New Solar Program
It's been quite a wild ride for the last two weeks, if you've been following the Public Service Commission and Georgia Power's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Georgia Power's January announcement that they would be retiring about 25% of their coal fleet did not come as a surprise. Our major disappointments were the decision to switch coal types at Plant McIntosh, from Central Appalachian coal to Powder River Basin coal, and the fact that the plan included no additional renewable energy. We prepared to make the case for a wind purchase from the Midwest, because it is just amazingly inexpensive right now.
But three things happened that we weren't expecting. First, Georgia Power announced that they would be making a 250 MW wind purchase from Oklahoma. While this was great news, we had to adjust our case to focus instead on the coal-biased assumptions that are keeping Plant McIntosh from retiring.
Second, there was a major explosion at Plant Bowen Unit 2 in April. Both Units 1 and 2 have been down since then, and you haven't noticed, right? We think that Georgia Power should defer deciding whether or not to repair it until the 2016 IRP.
Finally, the Georgia Tea Party Patriots jumped in feet first supporting solar, generating a ton of media attention, including an AP article that got picked up all over the world and in the AJC Political Insider. Americans For Prosperity came out against the plan, which sparked another frenzy, including an appearance on MSNBC by co-founder Debbie Dooley last night.
Commissioners Lauren "Bubba" McDonald, Tim Echols and Doug Everett supported the program, Commissioners Stan Wise and Chuck Eaton voted against it.
Quick Links - Tweet to Protect Jekyll Island!
The Jekyll Island Authority will meet again on July 15 to decide where to go with the Master Plan. Contact the Jekyll Island Authority at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them to not count marsh as land and to limit development to the existing development on Jekyll.
Sierra Club Meetings
Smart Energy Team Meeting, Monday, August 5, 7:00 p.m.
Wildlands Committee Meeting, Monday, August 19, 7:00 p.m.
RAIL, Monday, July 22, 7:00 p.m.
July 11-12 - Georgia Forward Forum - The 2013 Forum will focus on how Georgia can remain a great place to live, learn, work and play through "homegrown" strategies. The Forum will also feature full discussions on the future of rural Georgia through the work of the 2013 Young Gamechangers and the soon-to-be released Georgia Civic Health Index, a measure of how civically engaged we are in Georgia. More info and registration here.
July 14 - Victory Party in DeKalb County - There will be a party at Johns' Homestead Park, 3071 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker, on Sunday, July 14, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., and you are invited! Of course, this is to celebrate everyone's hard work in saving the Homestead from Dekalb County's new animal shelter.
September 19 - GSEA Solar Summit - Early Bird Registration is now open for the Fifth Annual GSEA Southern Solar Summit! The day-long conference will be held on September 19 at the GTRI Conference Center (250 14th St. NW in Atlanta), where it has been a sold-out success for the past two years. We are pleased to announce that solar pioneers Jigar Shah and Brad Mattson will be this year’s keynote speakers.
Save the Date! Biannual Chapter Retreat Oct. 4-6 - Every other year, the Georgia Chapter hosts a retreat with workshops, outings, wine tasting and all things Sierra Club! This year we'll be at Camp Wahsega near Dahlonega. Look for more details and registration information soon!
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