Residential Solar Installations in Alaska outnumber those in Alabama. Except for North and South Dakota, Rhode Island, Delaware, Mississippi, and every other state do as well. Georgia has ten times the amount of home solar as Alabama, and South Carolina has seventeen times. However, Alabama’s fortunes may soon alter. For years, solar supporters have cited Alabama Power, the state’s major electric company.
As the main reason, the state has lagged behind other Southern states in rooftop solar, and now a federal court battle is brewing to establish whether or not the tax is lawful. According to Alabama Power, customers using rooftop solar pay a monthly fee of $20-32 for an average-sized system, which serves the majority of the state. Some proponents predict that if the price is determined to violate federal law, Alabama may see a rise in rooftop Solar Installations as the state catches up to the rest of the country.
Customers in Alabama cannot save money by going solar because the utility has organized things so that it is difficult for them to do so. As a result, Alabama Power, the state’s utility, has practically outlawed rooftop solar in the state. According to the SEIA’s state residential solar data, Alabama is ranked 49th out of 51 U.S. states, including Washington, D.C.
In its fourth annual solar in the Southeast report, released last week, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy ranked Alabama last among Southeastern states in total solar development. SACE also classified Alabama Power as one of two “SunBlocker” utilities in the Southeast, based on SACE’s estimate that Alabama Power would still have less solar in 2024 than the Southeast utility average in 2020.