PSC approves Alabama Power’s request for 500 MW of alternative energy

As Alabama takes steps to support growing demand for solar, SELC continues to advocate for a transparent process that includes the public. (© iStock)

Yesterday the Alabama Public Service Commission approved Alabama Power’s request to pursue 500 MW of renewable energy capacity, and provided recommendations for the utility to follow when vetting projects.

“This 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, managing attorney of the Birmingham office. “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.”  

The approval includes a recommendation to require competitive bidding, which is an important component in creating a healthy market for solar and other clean energy resources in Alabama. Consumer demand continues to grow for solar, so establishing strong systems to support this burgeoning industry will be crucial to its success.

At an August hearing before the PSC, Alabama Power’s regulatory policy manager Noel Cain gave testimony on behalf of the utility. SELC intervened in the proceeding on behalf of partner group Alabama Environmental Council, participating with a variety of groups in asking about the utility’s plans.

The PSC approved the utility’s request in a meeting yesterday, and provided several recommendations regarding the proposal. The recommendations include:

  • requiring a biennial competitive bidding process for projects submitted under the proposal,
  • sharing information about the projects with the staff at the PSC and the Attorney General’s office,
  • submitting and approving no more than 160 MW per year for projects, and
  • a vote by the PSC on whether to approve or deny each project.

Although the approval is a sign of progress in bringing more renewables online in Alabama, there is no requirement to give the public notice of any proposed projects. SELC and our partners will continue to push for a more open and transparent process around how energy decisions are made that allows the opportunity for public involvement.

More News

Virginia officials reject Dominion IRP and ACP construction halted

Today the Virginia State Corporation Commission issued an order rejecting Dominion Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan, which lays out the utility’...

Solar Workgroup announces six new solar projects in southwest Virginia

Southwest Virginia may be coal country, but solar power is coming its way, thanks to the efforts of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia. T...

Endangered red wolves get immediate reprieve, still need urgent action

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it will delay changes to regulations governing the management of endangered wild red wolves whi...

Coastal voices go unheeded as Trump administration approves seismic blasting permits

Ignoring the resolutions of more than 200 Atlantic Coast communities and the wishes of some of his biggest political supporters, President Donald...

Birmingham City Council applauded for opposition to Cahaba Beach Road project

Last week, the Birmingham City Council unanimously passed a resolution to oppose Cahaba Beach Road, a proposed project which would allow the Alab...

Agreement reached on Chemours’ North Carolina pollution

An agreement signed today requires longtime polluter Chemours to start cutting back on the toxins it’s sending into the Cape Fear River. The cons...

More Stories