2022 Statewide Races Overview, Part Four
Previously, part one covered the statewide races for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Secretary of State.
Part two covered the statewide races for Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, and Commissioner of Insurance.
Part three covered the statewide races for School Superintendent and Commissioner of Labor.
Part four covers the statewide races for Georgia Public Service Commission Districts 2 and 3.
We have also published interviews with four of nine of the Democratic candidates for Lt. Governor.
PSC District 2 is the Eastern District of Georgia, and PSC District 3 covers Metro Atlanta.
The candidates have to live in their respective districts (this helps ensure representation from all regions of Georgia), but all Georgia voters get to vote on PSC Members.
PSC DISTRICT 2 – EASTERN GEORGIA
Durand has volunteered and worked at the Sierra Club and Sandy Springs Greenspace.
Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Russell Edwards qualified to run for the seat, but then suspended his campaign in late April 2022.
Republican incumbent Tim Echols is seeking reelection and faces no challenger in the Republican Primary.
PSC DISTRICT 3 – METRO ATLANTA
Shelia Edwards is the founder of grassroots organization Legacy Cares, according to her campaign website. Edwards says she opposed a waste transfer facility that had been proposed to be sited in her community.
Farley currently serves as the CEO of ReSolve, a consulting practice with a mission to increase the impact of energy, climate, and utility initiatives by centering equity.
Farley previously worked for Southface Energy Institute and Partnership for Southern Equity.
Farley has testified at U.S. Congressional hearings on climate change and equity; and she has presented to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the establishment of their Office of Public Participation.
Farley serves as chair of the Georgia NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Committee, is a graduate of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Academy, and serves on the Board of Directors for several civic organizations.
Farley has been endorsed by Climate Cabinet Action Fund, Committee for a New Georgia, Georgia Working Families Party, Georgia Conservation Voters, and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
“Successful years of experience includes directly working on the highly specialized risk management team supporting one of the world’s largest power suppliers and spending years with the team that handles Georgia’s largest port authority and one of the nation’s largest freight railroad companies,” Moore says on her website.
Former Commissioner Chuck Eaton, who served several terms on the PSC representing Metro Atlanta, was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to serve as a Fulton County Superior Court Judge, in August 2021.
Incumbent Commissioner Fitz Johnson, a businessman, was appointed as Eaton’s replacement. Commissioner Johnson is seeking reelection and is the only candidate seeking the Republican nomination.
GEORGIA POWER’S STEADY GROWTH IN RENEWABLE ENERGY
Atlanta Progressive News can report continued increased growth in renewable energy sources in Georgia – both in terms of megawatt capacity and in terms of renewable energy’s share of Georgia’s overall energy mix.
As of March 2022, Georgia Power–the state’s largest energy provider–has approximately 3,100 MW of renewable capacity, representing some fourteen percent of Georgia Power’s total energy capacity, according to an analysis conducted by Georgia Power on behalf of Atlanta Progressive News.
This is up from 2,650 MW of renewable resources online, not including hydroelectric power, as of year-end 2020. At the time, this was twelve percent of Georgia Power’s total energy capacity.
But Georgia’s energy mix has come an even longer way.
Georgia Power had a negligible amount of solar energy online prior to 2011. In 2011, the PSC adopted their first Large-scale Solar Program (LSS), which brought 50 MW of solar into their energy plan.
By 2012, 260 MW total of solar energy were approved for the plan.
By 2013, 585 MW total of solar energy were approved for the plan.
As of APN’s reporting in 2016, Georgia Power had 866 MW of renewable energy–including wind, solar, and biomass–currently online. 353 MW of this capacity was solar energy capacity.
On January 31, 2022 Georgia Power filed its proposed Integrated Resource Plan with the Georgia PSC.
This report, the IRP, is required by the Georgia PSC for all utility companies to file every three years. The IRP sets forth the utility’s projected energy needs to serve its customer base and its plans for meeting those needs for several decades ahead.
“As coal-fired generation continues to be less economically viable, the company is proposing to retire and decertify all Georgia Power-controlled coal units, with the exception of Plant Bowen Units 3 & 4, which will continue to operate no later than 2035,” Georgia Power said in a press release.
“To facilitate this fleet transformation, Georgia Power is proposing to certify an additional 2,356 megawatts (MW) of capacity from natural gas power purchase agreements (PPAs)… as well as significantly increase its renewable capacity,” Georgia Power said.
“The company is also planning to double its renewable generation by adding 6,000 MW by 2035, which includes a request for approval of 2,300 MW in this IRP,” Georgia Power said.
“The new capacity would expand the company’s renewable resource portfolio to approximately 11,500 MW by 2035 as well as support the transition to cleaner, more cost-effective energy resources for customers,” Georgia Power said.
The company is also requesting approval to own and operate 1,000 MW of energy storage by 2030, which includes a specific request for approval to own and operate the 265-MW McGrau Ford Battery Facility.
And the company is proposing to continue to invest in its hydro plants, including Plants Burton, North Highlands, and Sinclair.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2022)