Georgia Power’s new DER Customer Program supports eligible commercial and industrial customers with enhanced resiliency needs and provides demand response value and corresponding system reliability benefits for all customers.
Participating customers will receive enhanced resiliency service during power outages by having a back-up generator or other back-up type resource(s) on their premises and also have the option to receive a credit by allowing Georgia Power to access the resource in times of system reliability events.
The program is implemented under two tariffs: 1) the Resiliency Asset Service (RAS) Tariff, and 2) the Demand Response Credit (DRC) Tariff.
For customers participating in the RAS Tariff, Georgia Power will design, procure, install, own, operate and maintain a dispatchable resource behind the customer’s meter to meet their resiliency needs. Participating customers will pay a monthly resilience service charge and receive resiliency service provided by Georgia Power for their benefit during a power outage.
Customers participating in the RAS Tariff will also have the option to participate in the DRC Tariff. Under the DRC Tariff, Georgia Power will provide participating customers with a credit on their electric bill in exchange for the Company’s ability to use the resource for demand response purposes during system reliability events.
Georgia Power intends to make the process of having a more resilient business easier and more affordable under this program. Georgia Power has vetted multiple suppliers of equipment and installers to do the work. Georgia Power will own and maintain these resources and provide the customer with a fixed, levelized monthly payment on their electric bill. The customer will have the option to receive a credit from Georgia Power to utilize the resource during system reliability events, making the economics of having enhanced resiliency more attractive.
Georgia Power's initial approach to resiliency is to provide customers with dispatchable backup resources such as traditional reciprocating internal combustion engines that utilize diesel or natural gas fuel as well as battery energy storage systems.
Georgia Power will own the asset and manage all aspects of its operations and maintenance under a tariff-based contractual service agreement with the customer.
Since the program is implemented under a regulated tariff, the customer will see an additional line item on their monthly electric bill. The fee for this service is intended to be fixed for the entire term of service.
The customer will be responsible for the fuel costs, however where applicable, Georgia Power will manage the fuel delivery and inventory. The fuel costs incurred to operate the asset will be passed through to the customer and include an annual true-up based on actual operation of the asset.
The maximum term length is consistent with the life of the asset which in the case of most traditional reciprocating internal combustion generators is 20 years. Battery energy storage systems are typically 15 years. The minimum term length is negotiable, but in most cases will be no less than two-thirds of the asset life. Georgia Power will work with customers to find the optimal solution for these and other technologies.
The customer will receive a charge for participation in this program on their monthly electric service bill. This monthly charge is expected to be determined based on projected fuel costs (subject to annual true-up), the asset installation costs, depreciation costs, projected operations and maintenance costs, property taxes, and return on capital.
For customers with at least 1,000 kW of annual peak load, customers will be eligible to receive a credit under the Demand Response Credit (DRC) Tariff.
Upon executing a service agreement with Georgia Power, it is expected to take 6–12 months to complete the design, procure the equipment, obtain required permits, prepare the site, and complete the installation. This timeline could vary however, as every resiliency project is different since every customer and every site is a bit different.
Under the RAS Tariff, the asset will be designed to automatically operate in the event of an outage at the customer’s premises, so how often the resource turns on will be specific to each customer’s local reliability. Additionally, Georgia Power will operate the machine occasional for testing as part of a normal operations and maintenance routine.
If the customer participates in the DRC Tariff, the generator may run occasionally to support the reliability of Georgia Power’s electrical grid which will be no more than 200 hours per year.
In the event of an electrical service interruption, the asset will turn on automatically to restore electrical within 30 seconds (and maybe less depending on the specific equipment installed). If there is no service interruption and Georgia Power is operating the resource for normal testing or to support grid reliability, the resource will be designed for an uninterrupted, seamless transfer from the grid to the generator and back.
The installation location will be specific to each customer, but in general the resource will be installed on the participating customer’s premises behind the utility meter.
The service agreement between Georgia Power and the customer will include termination provisions that address specific scenarios.
In the case of a customer ceasing to take electric service from Georgia Power during the term of the agreement, the financial obligations identified in the contract must still be satisfied for the remaining costs associated with the generator under the contract.
In the case of a change in ownership or tenancy of the facility, a transfer of responsibility to the new owner or tenant may take place with Georgia Power’s approval.
With our full maintenance schedules and continuous monitoring of the generator’s status, it is very unlikely that the resource(s) will fail.
In the rare event that it does, Georgia Power and our maintenance partners will be readily available to visit the customer’s facility and get the resource returned to service.
We will be constantly monitoring the generator and will be able to detect if the generator fails.
We are currently only working with new, Georgia Power owned resource installations. However, if you are looking to replace those generators, then Georgia Power can potentially assist with a resiliency solution under this program.
Each solution is intended to be customized to serve the resiliency needs of the individual customer, however most systems are expected to include the following:
We need to know how much of your peak load you intend to serve with this resource. While we can estimate the appropriate size of a generator based on your company’s power usage, to properly size your generator we will want to determine your resiliency needs and a few other technical factors including the types of equipment and their electrical characteristics such as in-rush current.
It is also important for us to know about any electrical need changes expected whether through new equipment or business expansion.
The generator will be enclosed and monitored when operating automatically. When operating for testing the resource will be on a standard schedule, so all parties know when to expect them to be turned on. In the case of operation for system reliability events, the customer will receive a notification 30 minutes in advance of the resource will being turned on.
Maintenance and repairs of the generator are included in this program. Maintenance and repairs will be conducted by Georgia Power employees and maintenance partners in accordance with the manufacturer recommendations to ensure reliability when it is needed.
While the specifics of maintenance will vary by size and manufacturer, it generally includes items such as inspections, oil and filter changes, and replacements of seals, spark plugs, fuses, belts, hoses, and batteries.
Operation of the resource will occur at periodic intervals (ex. weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on the equipment requirements) to ensure proper operation when needed. The expected run time generally precludes the need for any major overhauls during the term of the service agreement.