This morning, the Georgia Public Service Commission unanimously approved the state’s first wind farm proposal. About a year ago, Georgia Power announced that it signed a power purchase agreement with EDP Renewables for 250 megawatts of wind power from Oklahoma. With today’s decision, wind energy from the Plains will make its way to the Peach State early next year.
Georgia has no statewide incentives for buying renewable energy. As such, Georgia Power cited the extremely low cost of wind energy as the primary impetus for the purchase. This is just a year after Alabama Power, another Southern Company subsidiary, began receiving low cost, reliable wind energy. That deal can power 115,000 homes in Alabama.
Currently, the Buffalo Mountain wind farm in Tennessee is the only utility-scale project in the south, but we have dozens of manufacturing facilities that help support the domestic and international wind energy industries. Some of the components for Georgia’s wind farms may have even come from the south.
Helping to make this project a success is the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC). These credits are crucial in supporting the wind industry growth in Georgia. However, these credits are also at risk and need to be extended to provide a more secure future for wind facilities in Georgia and help increase wind energy use here in the south.