2/13/15 | ATLANTA—The various aspects of Georgia’s solar industry created jobs six times faster than the overall state economy, according to a report released Thursday by the National Solar Foundation.
The report ranks the state as having the 14th largest solar-power workforce with 2,900 employees split between manufacturing, installation of solar panels and administration/sales. That represents a 13 percent increase over the past year.
2/3/15—A bill aimed at making it easier for homeowners to install solar panels is making its way through the Georgia House. It would allow third parties, including utilities like Georgia Power, to provide financing for solar installation.
Georgia Power as a direct lender is a new concept, but one that bill supporters say will benefit consumers.
Georgia is one of the fastest growing solar markets in the country. Most of the growth, however, is from building large solar farms and other utility-scale projects.
“If you look at how Georgia is doing, we’re way behind in the small business and residential area,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mike Dudgeon, R-Johns Creek. “What we believe is that this will start to open the market for companies to come in who finance which means the $15,000, $20,000 $25,000 upfront cost goes away.”
1/30/15—The outlook for the solar industry in Georgia could turn sunnier if a proposal introduced this year makes it into law. House Bill 57 sailed through the state House of Representatives’ Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee Jan. 28 and appears on a smooth path toward passage by the full General Assembly.
“I’ve not heard any organized opposition,” said Rep. Mike Dudgeon, R-Johns Creek, the measure’s chief sponsor. Dudgeon’s bill would let Georgia residents and businesses contract directly with solar companies to finance and install solar panels.
The move could be a game-changer. It would open up Georgia to solar investors, lenders and financial institutions who help finance solar projects, said Jason Rooks, director of government affairs with the Georgia Solar Energy Industries Association (GaSEIA), the solar industry trade association.
“There’s going to be a boom in construction activity,” Rooks said.
The bill would remove the requirement that property owners pay for their solar panels upfront — a major factor stifling adoption of clean power in the state.
The south could become the hotbed of the solar industry over the next six to twelve months if all goes as planned in Georgia. The state is a large solar market and third-party ownership has historically served to jumpstart the residential market. New legislation could kick off a land grab. The state has approximately 2.1 single-family detaches homes and is already a top ten solar state. But the bigger impact might come in serving as an example for other states.
11/20/14—New research finds Georgia will generate $4.4 billion in private clean energy investment over the next decade.
5/22/14—While most other Southeastern utilities are still hesitant about solar and wind, Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power is rapidly adding renewables to its portfolio.
By the end of 2016, Georgia Power will have nearly 900 megawatts of solar-generated electricity on its grid and will be delivering some 250 megawatts of wind-generated electricity. Does it know something its neighbors don’t?
5/19/14—Georgia Power, the state’s biggest electricity supplier, is planning to build three 30-megawatt PV solar installations for the U.S. Army for a remarkably low cost.
The Army’s Georgia 3×30 initiative will build installations at Fort Stewart, Fort Gordon and Fort Benning. The forts will supply land for the arrays and distribution lines. The Army will be the offtaker through an existing contract with Georgia Power.
4/20/14—The state has seen a 225-percent increase in jobs related to the solar-energy industry — the highest in the nation, according to Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association.
4/15/14—Georgia’s 225-percent increase in jobs related to the solar-energy industry is the highest in the nation as it plays catch-up to other states.
2/28/14—Even though a vast majority of Georgians support more solar, state legislators have continued to rely on the electric producers to dictate energy policy for the state. With the advent of renewable energy and overwhelming proof that solar in particular does not put upward pressure on rates proven by the utility’s own programs, state legislators have a compelling case to move Georgia’s energy legislation into the 21st century. Georgians will have to wait and see what the results of the legislative session bring.