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Georgia & Florida Ending Solar Lease Bans?

Georgia’s long ban on solar leases may finally be approaching its end, with third-party financing for on-site residential and commercial solar arrays possibly set to become legal once again, according to recent reports. The news is based on a bill introduced by a Republican state representative, no less.

The bill introduced by Representative Mike Dudgeon earlier this month is reportedly the product of a sought compromise between the state’s biggest investor-owned utility (Southern Company) and a number of distributed solar companies + local electric co-ops + other stakeholders.

Georgia flag

The bill’s name is the “Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015” and would allow for third-party ownership of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in size — with a cap placed on eligible commercial systems so that no more than 125% of a customer’s power use can be generated on site.

Unsurprisingly, a number of research analysts have already made note of the fact that the approval of the bill would create new opportunities in the Georgian market. Analysts at Raymond James noted that Georgia is home to around 10.1 million people and 2.1 million single-family households — “we estimate the addressable market for residential PV at approximately 10.5 gigawatts (GW). The addressable market for commercial systems is more difficult to quantify — there is too much variability between different system sizes — but just the residential opportunity alone is clearly massive.”

Florida flagSimilar legislation will possibly be introduced in Florida in the near future. The state can’t hold out forever, considering the great solar potential there.

On that front, a group of prominent business representatives and advocates recently began an initiative in the state to get the matter on the 2016 ballot. If that succeeds, Floridians get the chance to vote on it directly. The campaign — dubbed “Floridians for Solar Choice” — is currently in the process of collecting enough signatures to accomplish that goal.

Images: Georgia & Florida flags, Public Domain

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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