Does Georgia Power own the sunshine?

While opening a solar site in Richmond Hill last Friday, Dr. Sidney Smith said Georgia Power thinks it owns your sunshine:
It’s a personal freedom issue and a personal rights issue. And also it’s an issue of our future generations.

But I know that we’re going to come out on top…. The reason we’re going to come out on top. You’re going to choose a higher power bill, or a lower power bill? Now, I know you’re going to say I want a lower power bill.

Here’s the video:

Does Georgia Power own the sunshine?
South Eastern Pathology Associates,
Selling Power, Lower Rates for Customers LLC (LRCLLC),
Richmond Hill, Bryan County, Georgia, 17 February 2012.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

As Dr. Smith told the AP a few days later:

We have a property rights issue: Who owns the sunshine, and does a property owner get to do anything he wants with it?” Smith said. “Georgia Power says he can use it to grow grass, get a sunburn, but he’s not allowed to change it to electricity. That’s not correct.”
And it goes beyond just generating your own power for lower rates for yourself as a customer. Why not be able to sell it to somebody else who wants it, too?
This is just the first step. In a way and a process that we’re ultimately going to be able to sell power out of Bryan County back to Atlanta, bringing dollars back from Atlanta to Bryan County.
And Lowndes County can do the same. Atlanta wants our water? Sell them sunshine instead!

SB 401 can help with that. If you want it to pass, you can sign the petition or call your state senator.