Alabama is among the bottom 10 states in the nation when it comes to installed solar capacity, with just 2 MW of solar installed throughout the state.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - If Alabama Power's proposal to install up to 500 megawatts (MW) of renewable generation, including solar, is approved by the Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) the state would finally get to enjoy the economic and environmental benefits so much of the country is already reaping.
Right now, Alabama is among the bottom 10 states in the nation when it comes to installed solar capacity, with just 2 MW of solar installed throughout the state. However, the state's solar resource is actually greater than states like New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York - all of which rank in the top 10 nationally in installed solar capacity. In fact, Alabama receives nearly 50 percent more energy from the sun per square foot than Germany, the global leader in solar energy.
"Approving this proposal is a no-brainer," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). "In addition to the vast environmental benefits, increasing a state's solar energy capacity will create numerous jobs and stimulate the local economy. Not to mention - satisfy the Alabama Power customers who have publicly stated their desire to have access to expanded renewable energy options."
According to Alabama Power's projections, 500 MW of solar will generate enough renewable energy to serve up to 100,000 homes in their service area during an hour of peak sun intensity on cloudless days.
"Alabama Power's sister companies - Georgia Power, Mississippi Power and Gulf Power - are already adding renewable energy as part of a diverse generation portfolio. PSC approval will allow Alabama Power the chance to join in, fueling the Southeast's momentum as one of the fastest growing solar markets in the nation," Resch said. "When it comes to Alabama's clean energy future, this would be one major step forward for a state that's lagged behind in the renewables sector for far too long."
Today, the U.S. solar energy industry employs close to 174,000 Americans - more than tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter combined - and pumps nearly $18 billion a year into the economy.