Sustainable Georgia Roundup

Offshore Oil Opposition: A coalition of environmental groups has joined forces to sue the federal government over its decision to green light offshore oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. The group, which includes the Georgia-based One Hundred Miles coastal conservation organization and the Southern Environmental Law Center, claims that seismic airgun blasting used to search for oil and gas deep in the ocean will harm underwater life as well as coastal economies.

Of special concern are the endangered North Atlantic right whales, which calve off the Georgia coast. In addition to the lawsuit, coastal municipalities, businesses and fishing operations oppose offshore drilling activities.

More Renewable Energy: Georgia Power has collected proposals from renewable energy companies to add 540 megawatts (MWs) of solar, biomass and wind power. As part of its Renewable Energy Development Initiative, the company aims to fulfill its Public Service Commission-approved goal of providing 1,200 MWs of renewable energy via multiple sources. The first phase of this commitment was completed in 2017 with the procurement of 510 MWs of solar energy through projects in central, south and southwest Georgia. Now, Georgia Power has 976 MWs of solar power online. According to the national trade group Solar Energy Industries Association, one MW of solar energy can power an average of 164 homes.

Jumping on the solar bandwagon is Atlanta’s Marcus Jewish Community Center, which plans to provide 30 percent of its Besser Gymnastics Pavilion’s energy needs through solar power. The center estimates that solar arrays installed on the building’s roof will save nearly $7,000 a year in energy costs. The solar installation will be completed in 2019, and the center is looking at additional sustainability upgrades.

Categories: Sustainable Georgia Roundup, Up Front