Georgia Power’s Energy Plan a Step in the Right Direction, But Fails to Meet the Urgency of the Climate Crisis

Georgia Power’s Integrated Resource Plan Passes on Unanimous Vote

ATLANTA, GA -- Today, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) made its final decision in Georgia Power’s 2022 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) by unanimously voting to approve an amended stipulation agreement between Public Service Commission Staff and Georgia Power (owned by Southern Company). 

The final, approved plan includes:

  • Certifying the retirement of Plant Wansley Units 1 and 2 and Plant Scherer Unit 3

  • Deferring a decision on whether to approve the retirement of Plant Bowen Units 1 and 2 to the 2025 IRP

  • 6 fracked gas Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), totaling 2,356 megawatts (MW)

  • 2300 MW of solar to be procured before 2025

  • McGrau Battery Project (265 MW) as stipulated, plus Commissioner McDonald’s motion to add 500 MW of additional storage

  • A distributed generation working group 

  • Increased energy efficiency targets by 15% and increased demand-side management budgets by 11%

Commissioner Echols also proposed an amendment to expand Georgia’s solar net metering program, which provides incentives for individuals to construct rooftop solar, but that motion failed on a 3-2 vote. 

Scott Presson, a 5 year Sierra Club volunteer living in the Lawrenceville area of Gwinnett County and lead volunteer for the Georgia Chapter’s Clean Energy Committee released the following statement:

“While Georgia Power and the PSC have taken some positive steps, the IRP falls far short of what is needed to address our climate crisis. We need urgency and resolve to stop adding to this problem we have created. Our families deserve a livable planet. Let’s turn down the heat outside by accelerating our transition to a vibrant, green economy run on clean, renewable energy.

“Today, the PSC delayed the retirement of polluting and uneconomic coal burner Bowen, approved Georgia Power's request to buy out-of-state fracked gas subject to extreme price volatility, and refused to expand a popular program that would encourage the adoption of more rooftop solar. The PSC also proved that they will only require Georgia Power to do the bare minimum to build out our state’s renewable energy infrastructure by approving only what the utility proposed and not a megawatt more. The Commission also completely ignored the pressing issue of toxic coal ash sitting in groundwater at several of Georgia Power’s coal ash ponds throughout the state, which has been and will continue to cause widespread water contamination. 

“The moment we’re in requires bold, brave, and decisive changes to our energy landscape, but today's decisions prove that the PSC is more interested in cozying up to the fossil fuel industry and protecting Southern Company's profits.”

Gina Webber, Interim Director of the Sierra Club Georgia Chapter, released the following statement: 

“The five Commissioners on the PSC are elected to represent the interests of Georgians, but they made it abundantly clear that they wanted zero input from their constituents when they refused public comments during the IRP hearings. It’s shameful that they’re willing to put the interests of dirty polluters before Georgia families, small businesses, and communities.

“Despite this decision, we will continue to fight for Georgians and now turn our attention to Georgia Power’s outrageous proposed rate hikes. If approved, average Georgians’ monthly power bills will increase by $16. People are already struggling to make ends meet, yet Georgia Power expects the people, and the PSC, to bail them out once again.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit