Thankful for More Solar in Alabama

While the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has been retiring old coal plants or investing in expensive pollution controls to keep other coal plants operational, it has primarily focused on replacing any lost generation capacity with its preferred version of “clean energy” – nuclear and natural gas. However, TVA is moving further into the renewable energy [...]

Q and A: Republican seeks to build on South Carolina’s solar momentum

Former four-term South Carolina Congressman Gresham Barrett is joining with Sunrun to launch the Palmetto Conservative Solar Coalition. Their over-arching goal is to build on the momentum generated by the industry’s rapid growth spawned by unanimous passage in 2014 of “Act 236” by the South Carolina legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Nicki Haley. That law allows for solar sales by third parties and enables net metering.

Scapegoating Rooftop Solar

With the defeat of the utility-sponsored anti-solar Amendment 1 in Florida, we are wondering what the utilities’ next step will be. Will they engage with stakeholders to put more sun into the Sunshine State? If they don’t – we can expect more scapegoating of rooftop solar. The technical foundation was recently laid out in a [...]

Floridians REJECT anti-solar Amendment 1!

We are excited to announce that Floridians rejected the deceptive, utility-backed Amendment 1, which would have halted solar development by paving the way for utilities to penalize solar customers. As a founding member of Floridians for Solar Choice (FSC), the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) has been leading efforts to bring more solar energy to Florida. Over [...]

Lafayette restores smart solar policy

Late on November 7th, a local Lafayette, Louisiana newspaper (The Independent) posted a story: “About-face: LUS seeks repeal of ‘solar tax’ ordinance”. Lafayette is restoring its smart solar policy!

Local utility quietly clouds solar future

But this past August, our local electric utility company passed perhaps the worst solar power policy in the south. Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) introduced an extremely complicated electric, water and sewer rate increase the same week historic, 1,000-year flooding occurred in Louisiana. The new rate structure for net metered customers, including solar power families like mine, is likely to double monthly electric bills, and double the length of time it takes for a solar panel system to pay for itself. The new policy effectively acts as a giant tax on solar power. Solar tax credits are being phased out, and when coupled with LUS’s new solar tax, it is unlikely that solar power systems would ever pay for themselves.

Consumer Energy Alliance, Group Behind Fraudulent Petitions and Letters Signed by Dead People, Releases Anti-Solar Report

This is a guest post from David Pomerantz, executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute. Prior to joining EPI, David spent eight years working with Greenpeace to move the electric sector away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. Click here for the original post. The Consumer Energy Alliance, which you may know from greatest hits [...]

Solar In The Southeast, Fall Update

Thanks to weak or non-existent policies, inconsistent incentives, and a myriad of other excuses, the Southeast, as a whole, has yet to live up to its high solar potential. The last several months have brought some interesting developments though, some good and some challenging. Here’s a quick overview of the key takeaways, from North to South.

Public window into Florida utility planning opens, shuts

While Floridians await a Public Service Commission (PSC) ruling later this year on a 24% rate hike for Florida Power & Light, the Commission is also considering another matter: acceptance of Ten Year Site Plans from the largest state utilities. The Ten Year Site Plan is a summary of Florida’s largest power companies’ resource plans for the next ten years. This year’s Site Plans rely on continuing to run old coal plants and building more natural gas fired power.

Georgia Tax Exemption Can Improve Project Economics

Georgia has a number of tax exemptions that could potentially apply to solar and other electric power generation projects. One that can really impact project economics is Georgia’s tangible personal property tax exemption for manufacturers. Whether or not that exemption applies to power projects, including solar and wind projects, is a tricky question – there is no clear line for power project eligibility. As of about a year ago, Georgia stopped giving advance approval (or denial) of eligibility for the exemption. And Georgia does not give written opinions regarding eligibility.