Alabama has 2 megawatts of installed renewable power at present, which ranks it among the bottom 10 states in that category. But that is going to change quickly, after the Alabama Public Service Commission gave its blessing recently to a plan that will allow Alabama Power to add 500 megawatts of new renewable power within 6 years.

According to See News, Alabama Power will now begin developing wind, solar, and other renewable energy projects of up to 80 MW each. It may also sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) with developers outside Alabama for the first time. Alabama has more solar resources than most other states in the US.

The PSC plan puts a 160 megawatt annual cap on renewable capacity unless Alabama Power makes a written request to surpass that limit. The plan has the enthusiastic support of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Southern-tier states enjoy much more sunlight than northern states and could generate most if not all the electricity they need from renewable sources. Alabama has failed to capitalize on its renewable assets until now, but will soon become a model for its neighboring states to emulate.