by James Bruggers, InsideClimate News
Over the past five years, Georgia has become one of the nation’s leading states for solar power, but it didn’t get there in the usual way.
It doesn’t offer tax credits, and the legislature has never created a state renewable portfolio standard requiring utilities to sell renewable energy. There is no net-metering law to let solar homes sell excess energy back to the grid at retail prices.
Instead, an early Trump supporter who leads the state’s Public Service Commission has been pushing Georgia Power, the state’s largest utility, to invest in clean energy by ensuring that solar is included in the utility’s long-term power plans, updated every three years. Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr., saw other states moving toward solar, looked at Germany’s record-setting solar investments, and concluded that Georgia was being left behind with its focus on nuclear and coal. He wasn’t going to let it stay there.