Monday, June 24, 2013

Ga. solar panels show utility vulnerabilities

DUBLIN, Ga. (AP) — A solar project under construction at a school in Georgia is challenging the electric monopoly model.
Workers are assembling solar panels at Dublin High School, about 130 miles southeast of Atlanta.
The deal challenges the profitable model used by utilities. State law gives Georgia Power nearly exclusive rights to sell electricity to customers in a government-defined region.
Georgia is one of six states, including Oklahoma, with laws that could prevent solar power companies from directly selling their electricity to utility customers — according to a database of renewable energy incentives funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Georgia project uses local government authority to skirt the restrictions. Utility companies are debating how they'll be reimbursed for running the electric system if solar technology spreads and utilities lose sales.