PSC Approves Alabama Power’s Request for 500 MW of Renewable Energy
Montgomery, AL—Today the Alabama Public Service Commission approved Alabama Power’s request to pursue 500 MW of renewable energy capacity, and provided recommendations for how the utility should proceed in carrying out the process for vetting projects.
In response to today’s decision, the Alabama Environmental Council and the Southern Environmental Law Center released the following statements:
“Today’s decision represents a very positive step in bringing more renewable energy online in Alabama, and we hope it’s the first of many steps that will open access to clean energy throughout the state,” said Keith Johnston from the Southern Environmental Law Center. “Our neighboring states may have a head start in realizing the environmental and economic benefits of renewable energy, but Alabama can use this opportunity to catch up and spur growth in this booming marketplace.”
“We are pleased with today’s approval and recognize that the PSC staff heard our comments and responded with additional recommendations, such as requiring a competitive bidding process when vetting projects,” said Michael Churchman from the Alabama Environmental Council. “As Alabama Power officials have noted, customer demand for renewable energy is growing rapidly, and that demand will only continue to grow as more businesses and customers are asking for cleaner energy options.”
In June, Alabama Power Company submitted a petition for 500 MW of renewable energy capacity pending approval by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
In an August 12 hearing before the PSC, Alabama Power’s regulatory policy manager Noel Cain gave testimony on behalf of the utility and answered questions about developing the renewable energy capacity. The Southern Environmental Law Center intervened on behalf of Alabama Environmental Council in the proceeding, participating with a variety of groups in asking about the utility’s plans.
The PSC approved the utility’s request in a meeting today, and provided several recommendations regarding the proposal. The recommendations include requiring a biennial competitive bidding process for projects submitted under the proposal, information about the projects must be shared with the staff at the PSC and the Attorney General’s office, no more than 160 MW per year can be submitted and approved for projects, and the PSC will vote on whether to approve or deny each project.
Southern Environmental Law Center:
The Southern Environmental Law Center is a regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of nearly 60 legal and policy experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use. www.SouthernEnvironment.org
Alabama Environmental Council:
The Alabama Environmental Council is the oldest statewide environmental advocacy non-profit organization in Alabama, leading and engaging citizens toward sustainable living and stewardship of the environment. We organize and empower Alabamians to preserve the environment in a manner that is mindful of current and future generations. www.AEConline.org