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.
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.
A report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists evaluated the risks of flood surge on associated power plant infrastructure in southern Florida. UCS’s report states, “Although Turkey Point, a large nuclear facility along the coast, is unlikely to be flooded by a Category 3 storm, everything around it is likely to be, and damage to nearby major substations could still prompt widespread outages in the region.” Similar impacts may be expected of other power plants in the path of Hurricane Matthew.
As summer is coming to an end, I’m already reminiscing over the best summer activity here in Georgia: floating down the Chattahoochee River. When shooting the hooch (as we like to call it), there’s only one kind of beer you should be sipping on and that’s SweetWater.
Turns out electric vehicles can bring people together and help save the planet! We are thrilled to announce Alpharetta’s Mayor David Belle Isle and race car driver Leilani Munter will be joining SACE and allies at two separate events this weekend. As part of National Drive Electric Week, SACE has helped to organize local events in Alpharetta, Georgia (metro Atlanta) and Asheville, North Carolina where our special guests will be in attendance to promote electric vehicles and clean energy.
SACE staffers are getting charged up for this year’s National Drive Electric Week, held September 10-18th. We hope our supporters across the Southeast will make plans to attend these fun and informative events that promote electric vehicles. Specifically in our region, SACE has gotten invovled with Drive Electric events in Alpharetta, Georgia and Asheville, North Carolina. To learn more about these specific events, visit our Facebook pages linked below.
Three years ago, the Obama Administration outlined their goals for “Building a 21st – Century Transportation Sector” in their Climate Action Plan. The goal of the plan included increasing fuel economy standards and expanding advanced transportation technologies. We’ve come a long way in those few short years. The Administration has dramatically increased fuel economy standards for our cars, which aims to achieve a 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) fleetwide average by 2025. Through this initiative alone, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) over the lifetimes of the vehicles sold (MY 2012-2025) will be cut, save families more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, and further reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Just last week, new rules to dramatically improve the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions were also finalized.
The southeast has more coal ash per capita than any other region of the country, so we hope Rep. Johnson’s southern colleagues will co-sponsor and publicly support H.R. 4827.
Last week, more than 50 state and county governments, representing 28 states, along with global tech leaders like Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft, joined the list of groups filing briefs in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.
As reported in a previous blog, our nation’s best hope at reigning in dangerous carbon pollution from our energy sector was put on pause when the Supreme Court made a recent, unprecedented ruling. This speed bump, however, has not caused supporters of the Clean Power Plan to abandon ship. Instead, advocate groups, major companies and city and county governments have joined the legal battle to help bolster EPA as it fights industry and coal dependent states in the courts.
An opinion editorial, similar to this blog post, ran in Creative Loafing Atlanta on March 31, 2016, find it online here. We’d like to congratulate Georgia Power for bringing the first of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle on schedule and on budget. Bah hah hah! Just kidding! April Fool’s! Joke #1: Original Operation Date: April [...]