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Sat Feb 25, 2012, 01:55 PM

The heated debate over solar power (Georgia) [View all]

http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2012/02/24/your-morning-jolt-the-heated-debate-over-solar-power/?cxntfid=blogs_political_insider_jim_galloway

Clearly, a bill to encourage the use of solar power is now the hottest item in the state Capitol.

SB 401, sponsored by state Sen. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, originally had been shunted by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to the Senate Natural Resources Committee, where it was to be studied to death.

So on Thursday, an impatient Carter opposed by Georgia Power, electrical membership corporations, and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce brought SB 401 to the Senate committee that oversees utility legislation, where many think the measure ought to have been brought in the first place. Carter attempted to attach his bill to another piece of legislation intended to allow paranoid homeowners to opt out of wireless metering systems.

The concept offered by Carter is complicated, but my AJC colleague Kristina Torres has this explanation:

The most controversial aspect of Senate Bill 401 would allow outside companies to install, own and maintain alternative energy systems, in return for customers agreeing to a long-term contract to pay for the electricity generated by that system.

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