Georgia Solar Panels Show Utility Vulnerabilities

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Associated Press Release

DUBLIN, Ga. (AP) -- A solar project under construction at a school in rural 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 Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power and other utilities like it. State law gives Georgia Power the nearly exclusive right to sell electricity to customers in a government-defined region.

And Georgia is one of six states nationally that have laws preventing solar power companies from directly selling their electricity to utility customers.

But the project in Dublin uses local government authority to skirt those restrictions. Utility companies are debating how they will get reimbursed for running the electric system if solar technology spreads and utilities lose sales.

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