Atlanta, Ga. (March 17) – The Georgia Public Service Commission met today, issuing contradictory decisions that will help Georgia Power both support clean energy with the approval of a biomass conversion and perpetuate reliance on dirty energy in the certification of building two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle.
Plant Mitchell Biomass Conversion: In a vote supported by SACE, certification was granted for Georgia Power’s application to convert Plant Mitchell in Albany, Ga. from a coal plant to utilizing 100 percent biomass. The biomass plant could be one of the largest in the U.S.
“This project shows that Georgia Power can be a leader in biomass in the region and the country,” said Anne Blair, diesel and biofuels program coordinator with Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Our reports show that biomass can play an important role in meeting a state or federal Renewable Energy Standard, and Georgia Power is helping set us on the right course toward such a success.”
Vogtle Nuclear Reactors: On the same day, Georgia Power was also granted certification to add two new nuclear reactors to Plant Vogtle located near Waynesboro, Ga. along the Savannah River. However, Georgia Power has more challenges ahead before it can receive regulatory approval to build and operate any new reactors. Georgia Power’s proposed reactor design has never been built anywhere in the world and is now undergoing further design approval. Also, there are currently ongoing legal challenges to new reactors at the Vogtle site linked to water quality and radioactive waste concerns. Further, the PSC vote comes on the heels of a recent decision by the new Administration to halt a decades-long attempt to send the nation’s radioactive waste to Yucca Mountain.
“Given the financial, security and safety risks with nuclear power, this PSC decision will result in a poor use of ratepayers’ money,” said Rita Kilpatrick, Georgia policy director. “Instead, the company ought to be doing more to help grow a clean energy future, with energy efficiency and more renewable energy projects such as the Plant Mitchell biomass conversion.” # # #