Note: The following item was provided by State Sen. Jason Anavitarte’s office. – KtE
ATLANTA – Last week, Senators Jason Anavitarte and Sonya Halpern took part in two panels at “The State of Solar in Georgia: A Policy & Economic Forum,” hosted at the Kendeda Building on the campus of Georgia Tech. The Georgia Solar Energy Industries Association and Conservatives for Clean Energy Georgia sponsored the event.
During the discussion, both Sen. Anavitarte and Sen. Halpern highlighted their sponsorship of Senate Bill 210, a comprehensive initiative aimed at enhancing and expanding community solar in Georgia while updating specific aspects of the law related to net metering.
SB 210 seeks to broaden community solar opportunities for governments, nonprofits, and churches, while also modernizing net metering regulations. The bill’s key objectives are to expand consumer energy choices, foster a thriving market for Georgia businesses, and increase the adoption of clean energy on the grid. Notably, SB 210 does not apply to electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) or municipal electric utilities.
“I was honored to take part in the discussion at the Kendeda Building. Solar energy has been an amazing benefit to Georgia,” said Senator Jason Anavitarte. “Georgia is top 10 for solar production and there are solar facilities in over 80 counties bringing jobs, economic development, and low-cost solar energy to local communities. Solar energy is also the lowest-cost energy source per kilowatt in Georgia.”
“The problem is that there is a limited ability for residential homes, governments, nonprofits, and churches to access solar here. The real trick will be using our legislative authority to bring all the energy stakeholders together,” Anavitarte continued. “The large utilities are hesitant to share market profits with competitors when they have a massive advantage already. That’s not fair to Georgia’s small businesses and bad for our family budgets.”
“The Kendeda Building’s solar forum was instrumental in illuminating the critical areas we need to address as we carve our energy future,” stated Sen. Halpern. “With Georgia in a phase of rapid growth, our imperative is to harness optimal resources to bolster our energy output, ensuring affordable rates and thriving families. Furthermore, Senate Bill 210 stands as a critical step in this pursuit. Its implications are far-reaching and vital for Georgia’s small businesses and families. It represents a vision where expanded energy choices drive down consumer costs, fortify the market for Georgia’s small solar businesses, and bolster our transition to cleaner, sustainable energy sources. The crux of Senate Bill 210 is about enabling more Georgians to access the most affordable and cleanest energy option available. This is a shared vision, a universal cause that we can all rally behind.”
Additional panelists at The State of Solar in Georgia: A Policy & Economic Forum included Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, Dr. Matt Oliver from Georgia Tech, Bob Sherrier representing the Southern Environmental Law Center, John Szoka, CEO of Conservative Energy Network, Elizabeth Van Holt from the Coalition for Community Solar Access, Scott Thomasson, Georgia SEIA consultant, Richard Gruber from Georgia Tech, Barton Lowrey from the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and Tully Blalock, CEO of SolAmerica Energy.
Read the full text of SB 210 here.
Sen. Jason Anavitarte serves as Chair of the Senate Majority Caucus. He represents Senate District 31 which includes Paulding and Polk Counties. He can be reached at 404.656.9221 or at Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Sonya Halpern serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. She represents Senate District 39 which includes neighborhoods across the five cities of Atlanta, College Park, City of South Fulton, East Point and Union City, all in Fulton County. She can be reached at 404.463.1351 or at email@example.com.