The Union Recorder

Local News

April 1, 2013

Community solar bill offers different business model



The financial model got its kick-start earlier this month in Dublin.

Greenavations assisted development of a soon to be built 1.1 Megawatt solar PV system spread over Dublin High School. This is the first one in the state utilizing a third party lease model. 

Tax revenue bonds front the school's solar array.

Green said people want the open access, and that national attention is swinging as other's await the outcome of HB 657.

“If you compare the financial model that we've put together to all other mechanisms of funding solar in the world today, this one is a far more economical and a higher performing model than any of the others. It moves us to the forefront. As goes Georgia will go the rest of the South,” the solar advocate said.

Georgia Power is still gathering intel on the new legislation, while the company said it's focused on the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI) already approved by the PSC.

Company spokesman John Kraft said the GPASI offers one of the largest voluntary solar generation resources nationally.

“There are already rules in place about buying back power, so that's why we are trying to understand what this bill is proposing to do,” Kraft said. “We were not consulted in the drafting of this bill, so we are also trying to understand what the proposed measure would require, how it would work, and determine risks or benefits for our customers.”

The bill opens solar installation competition for companies like Dublin's MAGE Solar. Also, no individual loses the right to solar under its provisions.

Private investors can't come in and start building utility companies. Protecting the power grid is paramount.

“The grid is the biggest machine in the world. You have to take care of it. You don't want investors coming in and taking that money off to stick in their pockets,” Green said.

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