The Friday Photo
A weekly photo inspired by spontaneity, art, and community.
February 24, 2012
The sun was shining brightly on the sign at my electric co-op yesterday.
It needs to shine brightly on operations and decisions made there.
The owner members must request, in writing, permission to attend
any part of a board meeting.
It is the same as owning your own company
(because the customers are the owners)
but being told you can’t come to the Executive Committee meetings.
Georgia Senate Bill 401, (SB 401) would, in a nutshell, deregulate solar power in Georgia and serve as an incentive for both private and commercial expansion of solar power. Between the fleet of lobbyists and influential directors at GA Power, the company has maintained a stranglehold on the amount of power that can be moved to the grid from private and commercial sources, and the way solar energy production can be financed.
In addition to removing the cap on selling solar power, SB 401 will allow companies such as MAGE, which produces solar panels at its North American headquarters just down the road from me in Dublin, to finance or lease systems to customers. Currently financing or leasing is not allowed in Georgia. Restrictions in Georgia make large scale solar energy production unattractive to investors (see paragraph above, re: GA Power lobbyists and directors).
Two doctors in Savannah. Pat Godbey and Sidney Smith, got tired of waiting on the General Assembly to loosen GA Power’s control over the grid, and in open defiance, established Tabby Power. Tabby Power sells solar produced electricity to consumers. Smith and Godbey also started Lower Rates for Customers, which helps sell solar generated electricity made in one location to consumers in other areas. You can get a taste of their solar power projects at the Driftaway Cafe in Savannah, which is a Lower Rates for Customers client.
What’s not to love in SB 401 for advocates of open and free markets? What’s not to love about maximizing clean renewable solar power, which we do have in bountiful amounts here (see paragraph above, re: MAGE solar panels decision to locate in Georgia)? Supporters of SB 401 are collecting signatures here. At the end of the day, SB 401 is the rare bill that citizens on opposite sides of the political spectrum can love.
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