Georgia is a study in paradoxes. A state rich with solar resources, Georgia isn’t especially proactive with its solar policies. Still, the state’s solar industry is thriving and growing rapidly.
Georgia law does not allow power purchase agreements, also known as solar leasing. The practice is widely credited for the explosive growth of solar in other states and for making rooftop solar more affordable and accessible to middle class home and business owners.
Despite not allowing third-party-owned system owners to participate in net metering, Georgia installed 795 percent more solar in 2013 than it did in 2012 and was on course to top the 91 megawatts of solar it installed in 2013 in 2014.
The total 141 megawatts of solar installed in Georgia in early 2014 ranked the state 15th in the country. But it ranks seventh for the most new solar installed in 2013. That’s an impressive ranking for a state that limits grid connection to those solar customers who own their systems outright. It speaks to the increasing affordability of solar technology and to a progressive stand on solar in this southern state.
|Program Type||Performance-based incentive|
|Amount||$0.04 per kWh for 10 years in addition to the Renewable Standard Offer program|
|Official Web Site||http://www.tva.com/renewablestandardoffer/ssi.htm|
The Solar Solutions Initiative from the Tennessee Valley Authority started as a pilot program in 2012 to increase distributed solar generation capacity in its Georgia territory in order to help the utility meet the requirements of the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.
The utility announced that it will expand the program to 20 megawatts in 2015. The program aims to grow the local solar industry and create jobs while developing a strong solar portfolio for the utility.
|Amount||$250 per kW up to 10 kW|
|Required Documentation||Utility interconnection agreement and application|
|Official Web Site||http://www.sawnee.com/content/residential-rebates-and-incentives|
Most Georgia utilities, like those in other states, have eliminated rebates for solar photovoltaic installations. Some have replaced them with performance-based incentives that pay out over a longer period of time and some have disappeared altogether.
Sawnee EMC is one of the few remaining true solar photovoltaic rebates. Systems that net meter with the electroc cooperative are eligible to apply for a rebate up to $250 per kilowatt.
|Program Type||Performance-based Incentive|
|Amount||$0.17/kWh or $0.15 or less on bid|
|Official Web Site||http://www.georgiapower.com/about-energy/energy-sources/solar/asi/advanced-solar-initiative.cshtml|
Georgia Power offers a small and medium scale solar buyback program for electricity generated through solar panels. The program pays a higher return than standard net metering. Under this buyback program, available to both home and business owners, power generated by photovoltaic systems is purchased at a rate above the retail power rate.
The price has not yet been established for 2015, but the program is expected to continue into 2015 and perhaps into 2016. Home and business owners who installed solar and were accepted into the program before the deadline in March earned up to $0.15 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), depending on their bids, for any system sized up to 100 kW. Those who installed medium scale distributed solar up to 500 kW in size could earn up to $0.17 per kWh.
Non-Profit Grant Program
Sales Tax Incentive
State Loan Program
Utility Loan Program
Utility Rebate Program
Rules, Regulations & Policies
Building Energy Code
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Solar/Wind Access Policy
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