Contrary to recent negative news stories about the lack of a solar industry in Florida, the south is actually taking hold of the possibilities that solar power now offers.
Although the cost of conventional electricity is relatively low in the southern states, utilities and homeowners alike are starting to see the value in solar power. The fact is that non-subsidized solar energy now costs less than traditional energy.
One recent story, covered by The Augusta Chronicle, details Georgia’s new solar power embrace. This story covers an organization called Solarize which enables lower solar prices through bulk purchases. This lower pricing was also decreased further by taking into account the 30 percent federal tax rebate.
Utilities in Georgia are starting to work with the new distributed energy landscape that solar power is spurring. The Georgia Public Service Commission has mandated that Georgia Power encourage the spread of solar. Also, the Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act was just passed allowing for third party companies to finance and sell the power generated by solar panel systems back to property owners.
Another recent southern solar power story comes out of South Carolina. Utilities in the state are beginning to offer incentives for people who go solar.
SCE&G is planning on offering an incentive that will pay its customers over a 10 year period if they choose to install solar. These customers will get to sell back their excess solar energy for a rate slightly higher than what the utility charges its customers.
Duke Energy is also providing a considerable incentive to its customers. Instead of a long term program, it is offering a one time incentive worth thousands of dollars.
While the proposals still need final approval, it is easy to see that the tide is starting to turn in favor of solar power.
The bottom line for both of these stories is that solar power is becoming mainstream all across America, not just in higher electricity priced and more liberal leaning parts of the country. Saving money is something we can all agree on.
Solar power now represents economic opportunity for all. This is a concept that truly embodies what America is all about.