Georgia Lawmakers Seek to Boost the Solar Energy Industry
The General Assembly is expected to give Georgia's solar energy industry a boost by resurrecting legislation letting property owner's contract directly with solar companies to finance and install solar panels. Georgia State Representative Mike Dudgeon plans to introduce compromise legislation early in the 2015 session the utilities will be able to support.
Rep. Dudgeon is confident that utility industry is comfortable with the fact that we can allow third-party financing of solar without opening up the ballgame to lots of other things.
Residential and commercial property owners in Georgia can install solar panels under current law, however, with no third-party financing allowed; they must pay the installer up front.
Dudgeon's bill would get rid of that burdensome requirement, which has discouraged not only homeowners but schools, churches and other nonprofit organizations from installing solar panels at their facilities.
The language in this year's version of the legislation raised concerns surrounding the need for safety standards and how third-party power purchasing agreements would be structured.
Rep. Dudgeon said the compromise bill would allow property owners who install solar panels to sell any excess power generated only to the grid for the wholesale rate. Property owners also would be permitted to generate only the amount of solar capacity they are likely to consume.