Business Briefs: Southern weighs renewable options

Business Briefs: Southern weighs renewable options

May 25th, 2013 by Staff Reports and Associated Press in Business Around the Region

Southern weighs renewable options

The Southern Co. is brainstorming ways it can more widely incorporate renewable energy such as solar power into its traditional business model.

CEO Thomas Fanning said the utility has assembled a team to study how distributed generation, particularly solar power, might be used as it becomes cheaper and more efficient. Unlike large, centralized fossil fuel or nuclear plants, solar panels could generate electricity from many places spread around an electric system.

Fanning said a brainstorming team is expected to issue an initial report later this summer. In one approach, Fanning said customers with solar panels could get a credit toward their electric bill or a payment for their power.

Tennessee wins incentive grants

Tennessee will receive $697,963 of incentive grants from the U.S. Department of Labor for exceeding its performance goals for workforce development and training programs. Labor and Workforce Development Acting Commissioner Burns Phillips announced Friday that Tennessee is one of only 15 states to qualify for the extra federal funds, although this year's grant is only about half the $1.3 million received the previous fiscal year.

"We will use this award money to continue investing in the skills and employability of Tennessee's workforce," he said.