Georgia Power to buy 50 megawatts of solar energy by 2015

The utility plans to strike agreements with individual solar-power producers to meet the deadline. The providers would have to be able to connect to the transmission system for Georgia Power or its sister utilities in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.

Georgia Power says it plans to enter into 20-year agreements. The PSC unanimously approved the proposal, which was filed after PSC member Lauren McDonald in June gave Georgia Power 30 days to come up with ideas for large-scale solar energy projects.

Georgia Power can currently buy up to 4.4 megawatts of solar power from independent power producers, and collects the costs through a voluntary, premium-priced green power program.