Tag Archives: Territoriality

Company installs solar and leases it to New Jersey school: you can’t do that in Georgia

Schools can’t do this in Georgia, because of the Territoriality Law. They can’t have a company finance and install solar panels on their property and lease the power from them at a fixed rate. You can’t, either, not even on your own private property. Does that seem right to you?

US DoE EERE wrote (no date), NJ School Installs 6.1 MW Solar System,

A 100-year old private school, Lawrenceville School, in Lawrenceville, N.J., installed a 6.1 megawatt ground-mounted system on 30 acres of school-owned farm land. The system features 24,934 SolarWorld solar panels, manufactured at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Hillsboro, Oregon. KDC Solar leased the land for the project from the school and owns and maintains the solar equipment. Through a power purchase agreement, the Lawrenceville School will buy electricity produced by the array over the next 20 years.

The school says the Lawrenceville Solar Farm was dedicated 4 May 2012., and adds that they also keep bees on the same land, plus what six megawatts means:

The Lawrenceville School Solar Farm consists of a nearly 30-acre, net metered, 6.1 megawatt solar facility, and honey-producing bee hives, which ring the perimeter of the array. The nearly 900,000 resident honey bees are nourished by a special wildflower mixture planted among and around the solar panels. The Farm offsets 6,388 metric tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking 1,253 cars off the road annually.

The 24,934 solar panels generate six megawatts of energy, covering 90 percent of the School’s needs. During the day, the array can produce nearly twice the amount of energy needed by the School. The excess is imported to the local electrical utility, Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) and credited to the School. The School will draw excess energy and all other required energy from PSE&G after sundown.

Here’s a PDF with more details.

The big picture is: you can do that in all but about four states. Georgia is one of those four states, Continue reading

The solar train is leaving the station, but the nuclear buggywhip is in the way

The president of the Georgia Solar Energy Association Solar Energy Industries Association says the solar train is leaving the station nationwide, but Georgia remains enmeshed in tangled legislation. We could have changed that last year with SB 401 if Georgia Power and Southern Company’s vested interested in new nuclear plants at Plant Vogtle hadn’t gotten in the way. We can change it next year with a similar or better law. The time to contact your Georgia legislator or candidate is now, while election season is on.

Update 14 June 2012: Fixed Rhone Resch employment attribution.

Rhone Resch wrote for the Saporta Report, 3 June 2012, It’s time to put solar to work in Georgia

There are now more than 100,000 Americans employed at over 5,600 solar businesses in all 50 states. Many of these are small businesses that have been hit hard by the recession, but they are finding new opportunity for growth in the solar industry.

In Georgia, there are more than 80 companies in the solar value chain including Suniva, MAGE Solar, Inc. and Enfinity Corporation. I will be joining representatives of each of these fine companies — and many others — at the Southern Solar Summit on June 15 in the Georgia Tech Research Institute Conference Center in Midtown Atlanta to talk about the strides solar is making, and what remains to be done.

These companies are leading rapid innovation — across the entire value chain, from manufacturing improvements to new financing and sales mechanisms, that are allowing more and more Americans to go solar.

He points out that more solar was installed in 2011 than the total installed in 2008 and 2009, which shows that Moore’s Law continues to work for solar: the price per watt continues to go down, causing demand to go up. He projects forward:

The U.S. is on pace to install nearly 3,200 megawatts of new solar capacity this year with an annual growth rate of 30 percent through 2016.

At that rate, the United States would add more than 25,000 megawatts of new solar capacity between now and 2016. That is roughly the size of 25 coal-fired power plants and represents a significant opportunity for states that aggressively move to obtain a share of this exponentially growing market.

Hm, at Plant Vogtle the operating nuclear reactors produce about 2,430 megawatts and the two new ones under construction are supposed to produce about 2,200 megawatts. So that 25 gigawatts of new solar capacity by 2016 would be about 20 nuclear plants, a number that may be familiar from what Germany has already deployed. Somebody remind me again: why are we building any new nukes? How about if we end the nuke boondoggle and get on with clean green jobs for community and profit?

Rhone Resch says what Georgia can do:

Continue reading

Solar energy trust to help fund Bulloch County’s budget

This story is very interesting in light of Georgia’s territoriality agreement which (I am not a lawyer) basically says not just anybody can sell electric power to municipalities.

Mary Carr Mayle wrote for SavannahNow 27 September 2011, Solar firm establishes energy trust

Two area doctors, co-owners of the Tabby Power Solar Co. in Bulloch County, have formed the Georgia Energy Trust Fund to direct part of their company’s proceeds to the county.

And, while it will take more than a few generations – some 350 years, in fact – Savannah dermatologist Dr. Sidney P. Smith and Brunswick pathologist Dr. Pat Godbey hope the trust fund will eventually generate enough money to pay all of Bulloch County’s budget and create a prototype other rural Georgia counties can follow.

Initially, the doctors are donating 1.5 percent of the gross receipts from their six-acre solar farm in Pembroke to the trust, which will invest in state bonds for the county. The county will then receive half of the earned interest, with the other half reinvested for the county.

Interesting angle, that: they’re not directly selling the power to the county; they’re using some of their income to buy bonds for the county. And they’re inviting others to do the same:
Other county solar installations, both private and public, will be able to contribute to the fund, he said.
Will Georgia Power (or somebody) sue? We’ll see!

And they didn’t wait for North Carolina or New Jersey to do it first:

Smith believes the Georgia Energy Trust is the first trust fund of its kind in the country.

“It will lead to financial independence in the counties in which it is enacted.”

Sounds like a plan to me!