Ga. utility regulator backs solar power subsidy - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Ga. utility regulator backs solar power subsidy

By RAY HENRY
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - 1 of Georgia's top utility regulators says he would support charging Georgia Power customers up to an extra nickel each month to support the construction of new solar energy projects.

Public Service Commission Lauren "Bubba" McDonald said Tuesday that solar power developers are at a disadvantage since Georgia does not force Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power to buy a set amount of electricity from renewable energy sources. Such plans have proven politically unpopular in the Southeast, except for North Carolina.

Instead, McDonald says his commission or state lawmakers could establish the maximum nickel-a-month subsidy to support solar energy.

McDonald says the money would bridge the gap between what Georgia Power is willing to pay for solar energy and the price solar developers need to make a profit.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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