As part of Technology Law Institute 2010, Lee Peterson presented a compelling case for renewable energy projects in Georgia. BACKGROUND:
Substantial capital investment in renewable electricity generation infrastructure and clean technology is as important to Georgia’s economy as investing in roads, bridges and other fossil fuel intensive capital construction projects.
Currently in the state of Georgia, there are two state laws and one legislative omission that together are largely responsible for preventing industrial scale capital investment and job creation in the renewable energy and clean-tech sectors.
One such law is the Georgia Territorial Electric Service Act, which presently subjects virtually every significant contract for the sale of electricity between non-public utility parties to the risk of litigation.
The second is the Georgia Cogeneration and Distributed Generation Act of 2001, which severely restricts the size of investments in renewable energy.
Lastly, the absence of any law requiring public electric utilities to account for all the costs borne by the public associated with the generation of electricity is causing unfair negative price-fixing, forcing Georgia electricity consumers to overpay for renewable electricity through various green power programs offered by the utilities.
1 How to stimulate and support industrial scale capital investment and job creation in Georgia’s renewable energy generation industry.
2 Proposed guidelines for legislative clarifications of the Georgia Territorial Electric Services Act.
3 Proposed guidelines for amendments to the Georgia Cogeneration and Distributed Generation Act of 2001.
4 Proposed guidelines for avoided-cost externality adders.
5 Critical factors preventing lending approvals and tax equity investment in renewable energy projects in Georgia.
Lee J. Peterson is a licensed attorney and Senior Manager for Reznick Group’s National Tax Practice. He also leads the firm’s Tax Research and Planning Department in Atlanta.