Bainbridge beats Valdosta!

Bainbridge City Hall now hums with solar energy, Tristan Baurick wrote for Kitsap Sun 2 August 2012:

City Hall’s array of 297 rooftop solar panels is expected to produce the equivalent of 20 percent of the building’s energy needs, according to Joe Deets, executive director of Community Energy Solutions, the Bainbridge nonprofit group that spearheaded the privately-funded project.

“This is a great day for Bainbridge,” Deets said.

How many solar panels do you see on Valdosta City Hall? Well, that’s a historic building. But how about City Hall Annex? The parking lot? The formerly “100% Paid by SPLOST” Lowndes County palace that we’re now paying almost $9 million in bonds for? Nope, not a solar panel in sight.

Oh, sorry, that’s Bainbridge Island! In foggy Puget Sound in Washington state about a thousand miles north of here, with much less sunshine. So hardly a comparison with sunny south Georgia at all, I suppose.

Actually, we might have a legal problem doing this in Georgia, because of that 1973 Territorial Electric Service Act:

The $500,000 project was completely funded by 25 investors who live on the island.

CES leases a 200-foot-long portion of City Hall’s roof and will pay the city half the value of the electrical production. The other half will to the investors.

But, you know, City Hall could fight Georgia Power on that, if it wanted to. Even better, Georgia Power could help City Hall and the rest of us by lobbying for changing that 1973 law.