DEAR EDITOR:

A misinformed letter writer to the MDJ calls for Georgia Power to go bankrupt and for our state to consider following the lead of California when setting energy policy (Robert Roth: ‘Solar power is much cheaper than nuclear”). California’s largest electric provider, PG&E, has declared bankruptcy twice since 2001 and has under invested in its transmission system to the point that equipment failures have caused wildfires. Preemptive blackouts affecting millions of customers are not uncommon. Seems as though the only beneficiary from the turmoil in California has been the emergency generator companies, some of which have experienced 200% increases in sales as customers scramble for back-up power.

Moreover, the average price of electricity in California is 16.6 cents per kWh according to the most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In contrast, Georgia’s average retail price is listed at 9.62 cents per kWh, which is well below the national average. Our utilities effectively respond to storms, regularly invest in our state’s grid, are reducing emissions, and are partners in helping Georgia be recognized seven years in a row as the best state in which to do business.

And to compare nuclear generation to solar is apples to oranges. While both produce clean, carbon-free electricity, nuclear plants are designed to run around the clock while solar production is dependent on the weather. There is value in solar, no question, and that is why Georgia has deployed it in a responsible manner without placing upward pressure on rates. Georgia is regularly recognized as a top ten state for deploying solar. In the next few years, Georgia Power will have over 5,400 MW of renewables and battery storage on-line. I’ll gladly put our combination of a diverse energy portfolio, reliability, restoration times, customer satisfaction, and prices up against any other state in the union. Georgia’s business growth speaks to that every day.

Jason Shaw

Georgia Public Service Commissioner

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