Tennessee is Bright Spot in Dim Southern Solar Power Progress

The southern states are a prime location for solar power. More sunlight hits the South than anywhere in the country except the desert Southwest. At a time of Federal and state tax credits for solar power, utilities across the region are building large, utility-scale projects. But the South lags far behind in residential solar power. The reason is protectionism by monopoly utilities. Just seven states in the U.S., all in the South, ban third-party solar power purchase agreements, the business model that has led to an exponential growth in solar power for homes and small businesses. However, Tennessee is a bright spot, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. TVA has piloted programs to incentivize residential and commercial solar power with panels installed on schools, churches, and business buildings. Other Southern states should follow this shining example.

John Howell, Editorial Director