New solar in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida: where’s Georgia?

What are these new solar projects? Here are a few FERC lists, in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Florida, and there are more in Texas. Not so many in Georgia.

  • Zongyi Solar America’s 20 MW Tinton Falls Solar in Monmouth County, New Jersey, is online. Tinton Falls Solar is the largest photovoltaic project in New Jersey.
  • Southern Sky Renewable Energy LLC’s 5.6 MW Canton Landfill Solar Project in Canton County, Massachusetts is online. This photovoltaic project is built on the closed and capped Canton Landfill. It is the largest solar facility in New England. The electricity generated is sold to the Town of Canton under a long-term agreement.

New Jersey again! 20 Megawatts is even larger than the 6.1 MW at Lawrenceville School. And Massachusetts, even farther north. Let’s also look just south of us:

  • SunEdison’s 3.6 MW Phase 2 Lakeland Regional Airport Solar Project expansion in Polk County, Florida is online. The Lakeland Regional Airport Solar has a total capacity of 6.3 MW. It is the largest photovoltaic project in Florida. The electricity generated is sold under long-term contract to Lakeland Department of Electric Water Utilities.

Ah, but that’s illegal in Georgia! Here you can sell electricity only to your one and only monopoly utility, predetermined for you by the 1973 Territorial Electric Service Act. Maybe we should change that?

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce helped promote that solar project. Maybe better PR than feuding with the newspaper?

Also only slightly farther south of us, SunEdison completed in August 30 MW around San Antonio, Texas:

The latest project is the 10 megawatt,124-acre Somerset Solar Farm, which is on trackers to help it collect more sunlight. The project will produce enough electricity to power about 1,600 homes. The two other parts of the project were the Centennial Solar Farms 1 & 2 completed in June in south Bexar County at the San Antonio Water System Dos Rios Water Recycling Center. All projects were financed by Citi.

Private financing for solar projects at a wastewater plant, like the 200 MW we already have here at Mud Creek Wastewater Plant, but bigger. Hm, if we fixed the 1973 law, maybe we’d get more private financing!

San Antonio is actually planning 400 MW more solar power. They’re doing it through their municipally owned power company, CPS Energy. That’s something that is legal in Georgia, if your city has a municipal power company. No city in Lowndes County does.

But Adel, Quitman, and Thomasville do, or at least they’re members of MEAG, Georgia’s municipal electric generation group. Maybe one of them will do what Valdosta doesn’t seem to be doing: get on with solar power here in sunny south Georgia.

Solar and solar jobs would go up a lot faster without that 1973 Act getting in the way. You can vote right now for two new Georgia Public Service Commissioners and for new legislators who could fix that.