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Cronyism vs. Kids: High School Solar in Georgia ($7.5+ million for $3.5 million)

By Benita Dodd -- March 17, 2015

“The $3.7 million system is projected to reduce power bills by $3.5 million over the 25-year lease agreement. Unfortunately, as PSC Commissioner Stan Wise pointed out, ‘By the end of the agreement, Dublin taxpayers will actually pay $7.5 million in SPLOST sales taxes for debt service, and this does not include other costs such as operations and maintenance and insurance.’”

Solyndra was a visible black eye for the Obama administration in 2011, when the solar panel manufacturer went bankrupt after taking in more than $500 million from taxpayers and private investors. Closer to home, the silence is deafening: Few even know of the failure of Mage Solar, a company that set up shop in Middle Georgia with great fanfare in 2011.

What started out as a Georgia Public Policy Foundation commentary (by me) to mark Sunshine Week (March 15-21), and the two-year anniversary of Dublin High School’s award-winning solar array, led to a trail of lofty projections, broken promises, unpaid bills, questionable math, and taxpayers left on the hook.…