SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

December 2017



As 2017 draws to an end, SACE would like to extend a big thank you for sticking out a pretty wild year for energy issues. With the swearing in of a vocal climate change denier and fossil-fuel proponent as President, we started this year with a grim outlook, however, we’re proud to report that despite all the shenanigans in DC, the Southeast had some stellar clean energy accomplishments. Seven southern cities have committed to 100 percent renewable energy goals, risky nuclear expansions were cancelled due to market forces, solar power continued to grow in the Carolinas and Florida, the first large-scale wind farm in our region went live and a grassroots coalition has formed to open up the solar market in Tennessee. Clean energy is our future and we are not giving up. Join us in 2018!

  1. Christian Brothers University shows that “Memphis has the Power” : First Teach-In brings energy injustice issues to college campuses in Memphis

  2. Will it be “A Nightmare Before Christmas” or a “Christmas Miracle”? Plant Vogtle’s fate unclear as experts agree project is no longer economic

  3. SACE and allies bring diverse audience together for EV Conference

Christian Brothers University shows that “Memphis has the Power” : First Teach-In brings energy injustice issues to college campuses in Memphis
By Jazzmyn Davenport, SACE intern

On November 16th, nine student lead organizations (National Panhellenic Council, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Hola CBU, Delta Sigma Pi, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Sustainability Coalition, NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.) from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee gathered for the first “Memphis Has the Power” campaign Teach-In. Launched earlier this fall, Memphis Has the Power is a campaign designed to address energy injustice issues by pushing for cleaner and cheaper energy for the Memphis community.


SACE Intern, Jazzmyn Davenport (right), with leaders of nine student organizations at the first Memphis Has the Power Teach-In at Christian Brothers University (Memphis, TN).

During the Teach-In, representatives from these nine student organizations learned about and engaged in a wide variety of energy-focused topics, including the high energy burdens felt amongst low income households and the disproportionate allocation of programming funds from TVA. These presentations sparked multiple conversations within the group about ways to support this cause and get more involved.

With one successful Teach-In on the books, SACE anticipates bringing this campaign and similar educational events to other local college campuses such as LeMoyne-Owen College, University of Memphis, Rhodes College and Southwest Community College).

Future teach-Ins on local campuses next semester will help to spread the word about this campaign and its key issues, create volunteering opportunities within the broader Memphis community, and tap into the energy and ideas of the next generation. To learn more about energy burdens and the Memphis Has the Power campaign click here, and sign-up here to show your support for these efforts.

Will it be “A Nightmare Before Christmas” or a “Christmas Miracle”? Plant Vogtle’s fate unclear as experts agree project is no longer economic
By Sara Barczak, High Risk Energy Director

There was no holiday cheer in Atlanta for proponents of Plant Vogtle as extensive expert testimony filed at the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) and discussed during a hearing this week show that Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project is no longer economic for customers, should it continue. This includes testimony from Mr. Peter Bradford, a former Commissioner with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and former Chairman of the Maine and New York utility commissions, who testifies this week on SACE’s behalf. Plant Vogtle is the only remaining new nuclear plant construction project in the U.S. since SCE&G and Santee Cooper cancelled the expansion of the V.C. Summer plant in South Carolina.


The economics of the Vogtle project, made worse by reactor designer and builder Westinghouse’s bankruptcy earlier this year, no longer work despite Georgia Power’s announcement that they secured the full $3.7 billion Toshiba Parent Guarantee. The five elected Public Service Commissioners are now considering the project’s fate, which has doubled in costs since its original proposal to ~$25 billion, and is at least five years delayed as both reactors were scheduled for operation in 2016 and 2017 respectively

News headlines say it all:

The financial impacts thus far have fallen harder on residential and small commercial customers as compared to large industrial customers. In a recent blog post, SACE demonstrated the disproportionate burdens were partially the result of pay-in-advance payments.

If the project continues, customers’ wallets aren’t the only things that would be drained. The serious environmental degradation Plant Vogtle’s expansion would cause prompted the Georgia Water Coalition to once again select the water-guzzling culprit for their annual “Dirty Dozen” report. The Coalition, of which SACE is an active partner, also called upon the PSC to cancel the project and pursue low-carbon, less water-intensive, affordable energy choices such as solar, wind and energy efficiency and conservation.

Though a Commission decision was not expected on this very important matter until February 2018, Chairman Wise, who announced that he will not serve out his term and will resign shortly after the Vogtle vote, abruptly pushed for an expedited decision to be made before the end of the year on December 21. If you’re a Georgia Power customer or have friends and family who are, please take action TODAY!

SACE and allies bring diverse audience together for EV Conference

By Anne Blair, Clean Fuels Director

On November 15-16, 2017, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy in partnership with Georgia Public Service Commission Commissioner Tim Echols, Union of Concerned Scientists and Plug In America, hosted a regional conference on transportation electrification in the Southeast, EVs and the Southeast Grid 2.0. Building on the incredible success from the conference’s first year, the event brought together state, utility, NGO, academic, and industry representatives to share information and foster discussion about electric vehicles (EVs) in the Southeast as the gap between the power sector and transportation sector narrows.

Speakers at the EVs and the Southeast Grid 2.0 Conference in Braselton, Georgia.

Speakers at the EVs and the Southeast Grid 2.0 Conference in Braselton, Georgia.

The conference highlighted changes and developments in the EV sector within the last year. Southern Alliance for Clean Energy clean fuels director, Anne Blair, discussed the varying motivators for driving electric – environmental, health, economic, technology, national security, and improved driving experiences – and how these interests are unifying communities in developing new electric vehicle programs.

General Motors’ newly-released Chevrolet Bolt is the first long-range mass-market EV and they have increased their commitments to electrify more models. Green4 U Technologies, Georgia’s first EV manufacturer, shared details on their new EV line up. An estimated 157,039 EV sales have been made in 2017 – a gain of more than 30% in the last year. Other manufacturers have also announced big plans to go 100% electric in the coming years, including Volkswagen, Daimler, Volvo, BMW, Ford and others.

The heavy-duty vehicle sector is also ramping up electrification. New Flyer presented on their new $25 million zero emissions vehicle innovation center in Anniston, Alabama. Utility participants, including Southern Company, Duke Energy and Touchstone Energy, discussed their EV programs, including investments in charging infrastructure, evaluating rates and even providing vehicle rebates. Utility commissioners shared their thoughts on utility EV programs. City representatives from across the region also presented on their EV leadership, including vehicle commitments, EV charging readiness, and other EV programs. National and regional groups, including Ceres, Consumers Union, and others, joined us to share new research as well as examples of successful EV programs. Forth is leading the way in the Northwest with EV car sharing programs, an EV showcase, their annual conference and other programs.

The conference offered a great opportunity for networking, partnership development and sharing resources such that EV programs can be developed effectively — to support drivers and utilities, new businesses and our communities. To view presentations and read more about the conference, please check out and join our list at