Cost effective, renewable solutions
Approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission in November 2012, the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI) is an innovative solar program designed to procure 210 MW of solar capacity. GPASI was primarily created to spur economic growth within the solar community in Georgia while offering pricing that encourages more renewable development and avoids any upward rate pressure and reliability impacts to Georgia Power customers. With this goal in mind, Georgia Power designed two programs to continue to develop solar in Georgia: 1) offer existing Georgia Power customers additional options to sell distributed solar generation back to Georgia Power through small and medium scale power purchase programs; and 2) offer solar developers the opportunity to bring large photovoltaic (PV) solar arrays to market through a competitive utility-scale RFP. In July 2013, the Public Service Commission approved an additional 525 MW of solar capacity as part of the 2013 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) order. These additional megawatts of solar capacity were similarly allocated between the distributed generation and utility scale programs.
Overview of the Programs
Utility Scale RFP Program
In 2013, Georgia Power solicited bids through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process and contracted for the first 50 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar generation in the GPASI. These 4 projects averaged less than 8.5¢ per kilowatt hour (kWh) and were approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission in December 2013. In 2014, a second RFP sought the remaining 70 MW to complete the GPASI portfolio and 425 MW approved as part of the company’s 2013 IRP. The RFP was concluded in October 2014 and resulted in 10 projects totaling 515 MW, averaging less than 6.5¢ per kWh.
Georgia Power filed the 10 Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with the Georgia Public Service Commission, subsequently receiving approval and certification of the entire portfolio in December 2014.The RFP was conducted with oversight by the Accion Group, Inc., which served as the Independent Evaluator for the process. Although the individual PPAs have varying in-service dates, Georgia Power expects all of the selected projects to reach commercial operation by the end of 2016.
2015/2016 Distributed Generation Program
The Small and Medium Scale (Distributed Generation) programs sought 45 MW of projects in 2013 and 2014, ultimately resulting in 90 MW procured at 13¢ per kWh. Additionally, participants are limited to 35% (20MW) of program capacity in 2014. Georgia Power expects that all projects will be brought online through these programs by the end of 2016.
On Tuesday, March 17th the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC) approved a motion by Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald that set parameters on project selection, pricing, and set the guidelines on how the Distributed Generation (DG) projects will interconnect with Georgia Power’s distribution system. Please refer to the GPSC website for the motion/order [here]. Georgia Power is currently working with the Georgia Public Service Commission Staff to develop the timeline for the program rollout. We will continue to update [this] website with 2015/2016 program information as it comes available.
The Lottery Winners for small- and medium-scale solar installations have been selected.
Small and Medium Scale Application Information
GPASI Utility Scale Offering
For more information on the utility scale RFP and associated timeline, please visit the Independent Monitor's website.
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