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The Georgia Deal to Fuel the Southern Solar Strategy

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Published on : Jan 27, 2015

It is anticipated that the southern part of U.S. will become the center of the solar industry within the next six to twelve months if all goes as per plans in Georgia. In January, a compromise bill was introduced by Mike Dudgeon, the State Representative on the third-party ownership of solar systems in the state. As per this legislation, companies like Sungevity or SolarCIty can install systems on the house roofs and sell people power. 

Simultaneously, the size of residential systems would be capped at 10 kilowatts and curtail commercial systems to 125% of their power consumption. The terms had been worked out more than ten months back and it is believed that these terms are going through various committee approvals. It’s quite different from 2012 when a similar third-party ownership bill had generated serious debates between a range of solar advocates and Georgia Power. The bill was finally shelved. Georgia is basically a huge solar market. Historically, the residential market was jumpstarted by third-party ownership. New legislation could even start off a land grab. The state has close to 2.1 single-family detaches homes and attained the position of a top ten solar state, as per Pavel Molchanov at Raymond James. However, the main big impact may show up in serving as an example for the other states. 

A third party ownership bill which was introduced in Florida, has received support from state Libertarian Party and the Republican Liberty Congress, the solar advocates. According to sources, the advocates are also trying their best to eliminate a fee that acts as a tax on solar. Currently, the state of North Carolina, which features in the top ten list also does not permit third party ownerships. Kentucky and Oklahoma also do not allow third part ownerships.