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.

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!

How one southeastern city is connecting renewable energy, transit and electric cars

Last week, we published a blog on Chattanooga’s Empower Chattanooga program, a flagship project for local sustainability, non-profit green spaces, and low-income energy efficiency solutions. But, Chattanooga is also leading the way with some innovative new transportation initiatives. On October 24, as part of a hearing in Ringgold, Georgia (near the GA/TN border) of the Georgia [...]

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.

SELC, faith groups keep pushing for solar access in N.C.

Guest post from the Southern Environmental Law Center and posted originally on their blog, here. As the North Carolina Court of Appeals considers a Greensboro church’s use of a popular solar financing method, SELC and faith groups from across the state continue to support the call for greater access to affordable clean energy. This week, SELC weighed [...]

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.

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.

At D.C. conservative conference, clean energy is ‘now a family value’

onservatives from throughout the Southeast and Midwest challenged their colleagues Thursday to step up their public education and lobbying for clean energy in Congress and in state capitals. This is a guest post originally published by Southeast Energy News.

Where the 2016 Candidates Stand on Energy Issues: NC Governor Pat McCrory

2016 Candidate Series: Leadership from a state’s governor is critical to setting the tone for energy policies, like REPS, and this blog series aims to inform voters on the policy stances regarding energy and climate issues that face North Carolina. First we evaluate current North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, who is running for re-election this November. Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 29 years and served as Charlotte’s longest-running mayor before retiring in 2008 to run for Governor of North Carolina. Prior to his 2012 gubernatorial election, Governor McCrory also served as a champion for Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers-backed anti-clean energy organization.