Looks like Horry County, SC stuck to its
initial three-year offer, both for Lofton, and for millage
to fund his development authority there.
There are things the
newly-renamed Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority
could do to let sunshine turn Lofton’s local land legacy green.
What if the Industrial Authority used its bond-issuing power
to finance rooftop solar?
And what if it combined that with utility-scale solar projects
on its own industrial park lands, and for example at the airport,
or at the new Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant?
It is not just the technology that is evolving in the solar
industry; the financing of solar projects, both residential and
utility-scale is evolving quickly. The most notable development here
has been in the form of solar leasing, whereby the rooftop panels
are owned by a third party who effectively leases the rooftop from
the home/factory/office owner, the latter receiving payment normally
through a reduction in electricity bills paid for by the lessee.
This provides the benefits of cheaper and cleaner solar electricity
to the homeowner, whilst negating the need for the significant
initial capital outlay. The panel owner or lessee earns their return
via incentive mechanisms such as the U.S. Investment Tax Credit, and
via the sale of the electricity back to the local utility. This
financing mechanism has proved particularly successful in the U.S.
and is gaining traction in the UK, with companies in other countries
looking to follow suit.