“Community Solar Advocates vs Georgia Utility: A Battle for Green Energy”

Hello there, solar enthusiasts and welcome back to my blog! Today, we’ll delve into a contentious issue that seems to be causing quite a stir in the world of solar companies, more precisely in Georgia. As a passionate advocate for solar power options, this has definitely struck a chord with me.

Currently, Georgia ranks high nationally in utility-scale solar deployment. However, when it comes to rooftop and distributed solar, the state finds itself at the opposite end of the spectrum. So, to remedy this situation a bill has been proposed that could fundamentally change the state’s solar landscape.

Referred to as the “Homegrown Solar Act”, this legislation seeks to establish something unheard of in Georgia: a community solar market. What does this mean? Simply put, this act would allow ratepayers such as individuals, nonprofits, businesses, and governments to subscribe to a portion of a solar facility’s generating capacity. In return, they would receive credits on their utility bills.

Why does this matter? Imagine being able to use solar panels for your home even if your premises were unsuitable for direct solar installation. The concept of community solar opens up alternative possibilities for people like you and me. The customers participating in a community solar program can anticipate savings of about 10% to 20% on utility bills according to the Department of Energy.

Despite such rosy prospects, this bill has not been met with universal applause. One entity, in particular, Georgia Power, has voiced its opposition. Their argument? They feel this is a “solution in search of a problem”, citing that Georgia already ranks within the top ten states for solar installation capacity.

Interestingly though, Georgia falls among the bottom ten when it comes to distributed sources of solar like residential, commercial, and industrial rooftop installations, not to mention community solar. These distributed forms of solar have several benefits such as enhancing resilience against extreme weather events, limiting land use, reducing transmission needs, and offering customers an alternative to the monopolized market.

Another argument from Georgia Power is that community solar customers would unjustly cause rates to rise for non-solar customers due to a so-called “cost shift”. National studies have debunked this theory, proving that any such “cost shift” is negligible at the current levels of deployed distributed solar. There might even be system cost benefits for non-solar customers entailed.

So, should Georgia Power be worried about a “cost shift”? I believe not. Rather, Georgia Power and similar entities should consider the merits of the bill and potentially embrace community solar. Adding solar arrays for home and community use to their energy mix strikes me as a mutually beneficial prospect for both utility companies and consumers.

In conclusion, the Homegrown Solar Act could revolutionize the Georgian solar landscape, making it possible for residents to leverage community solar systems. The state’s utility companies will need to join hands with the bill’s advocates to help make it a reality. The power of solar is immense and the state of Georgia could significantly benefit from embracing this renewable energy source more fully.

Make sure to stay tuned for more updates on the fascinating battle to expand solar power in Georgia and elsewhere. Remember, the solar revolution is here and now, and together, we can all be a part of it!

Original Articlehttps://pv-magazine-usa.com/2024/02/21/georgia-utility-adamantly-opposed-to-community-solar/

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