ATLANTA, June 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southern Company said today that a thorough two-year study conducted with the Georgia Institute of Technology has identified several conditions potentially favorable for wind power generation off the coast of Georgia, but that high costs and regulatory issues still need to be resolved.
Articles from Georgia
Curt and Christine Mann are renovating their Grant Park house to make it green to the nth degree. They're recycling wood, installing airtight foam insulation and solar lighting, and capturing gray water to flush toilets. But what sets the Manns apart from other enviro-conscious families is their plan to install a device not seen in any other Atlanta neighborhood - a 45-foot wind turbine. When the turbine's three 6-foot blades spin, electricity will be generated to help power the home. The Manns say the planned wind tower in their yard shows a commitment to rely less on fossil fuels and help curb global warming. "We're just trying to walk the talk," Christine Mann said. They're also testing the limits of green tolerance in Grant Park, a historic neighborhood near Turner Field and Oakland Cemetery that's considered liberal and environmentally aware. Opponents say the tower, which received a permit from the city, will be nothing more than a giant yard ornament on a street where old houses have been lovingly preserved.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for wind power off the Georgia coast. Georgia Tech and Southern Co. have been looking into a possible wind project, but increasing costs for the turbines along with a stalled regulatory process make it an unlikely prospect for the near future, said William Bulpitt, senior research engineer with Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Initiative. “The main stumbling block is economics,” he said. “The price of steel and copper have gone up dramatically.”
The yearlong data collection is finished in a wind-power viability study in Floyd County, but analysis of the results will take several weeks. Green Power EMC, a joint effort by 17 of the state’s electric cooperatives, set up an assessment tower in summer 2005 atop Oglethorpe Power’s Rocky Mountain Hydroelectric Plant, off Big Texas Valley Road. The 200-foot tower — a pole with wind-measuring equipment, a thermometer and other recording devices — recently finished collecting data about wind speed and direction.
The Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) today unanimously approved a reduction in the cost of the Green Power premium to $4.50 for one block (100 kilowatt hours) for customers of Georgia Power and those customers in the former Savannah Electric territory in Docket Number 16573. The Commission had previously set the Green Power premium at $5.50 per block for Georgia Power customers and $6.00 per block for Savannah Electric customers. These lower rates will be consolidated into one rate in Georgia Power Company’s next rate case proceeding, which is expected to be filed July 1, 2007. The Green Power premium is in addition to the regular charges for electric usage.
Bulpitt said preliminary results at the research platforms off the Georgia coast are showing average wind speeds of 16 miles an hour.
But initial results from the first two months of the study are showing the area has slow wind speeds of 6 to 10 mph.