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Frequently Asked Questions

Customer-Connected Solar Program FAQs

Find answers to the most common customer questions here. Search by category to learn more about the Customer-Connected Solar Program.

Program Details

What are the Customer benefits of participating in this program?

A Customer participating in the DG Customer-Connected Solar Program will directly support the addition of more renewable generation on the grid with development of a Solar Facility. Georgia Power will purchase 100% of the energy generated by paying the Customer directly. In addition, Georgia Power will retire the renewable energy credits (“RECs”) associated with the Customer’s Solar Facility on the participating Customer’s behalf, allowing participants to claim the sustainability benefits of the energy produced. Customers will also be able to choose their agreement terms, ranging from 10 to 30 years.

When will this program begin and when does it conclude?

The Application Period for the Customer-Connected Solar Program begins July 30, 2020 and will close in January 2022 or when the 25 MW AC portfolio is filled, whichever comes first.

What happens if more than 25 MW of projects want to participate in the Customer-Connected Solar Program?

Projects are chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. If more than 25 MW in applications are received within the first 30 days, a lottery will be conducted.

Where can the Solar Facility be located to be eligible to participate in this program?

To participate in the Customer-Connected Solar Program, a Solar Facility must be located on the Customer’s Premises or on land that shares a common border or intersection point with the property, interconnected to the same Georgia Power Distribution Circuit as the Customer’s existing meter, and able to deliver energy to the same Georgia Power Distribution Circuit.

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Does the Facility have to be owned by the Customer to participate?

No. The Facility may be Customer-owned, Customer-leased, or the Customer may procure the Solar Output from the Facility under a Solar Energy Procurement Agreement (“SEPA”).

Fees

What are the fees to participate?

To apply, each Customer must pay a non-refundable Application Fee. In addition, each successful Application will be asked to pay a Success Fee and the Interconnection Study Fee. See the table below for applicable fees.

Fee Chart

Non-Residential

Residential

Application Fee

(non-refundable)

$5,000

$250

Success Fee

$5/kW

$250


Facility Size ≥ 250kW

Facility Size < 250kW

Interconnection Study Fee

$10,000

$25/kW

($250 cap, if residential)

When are the fees required to be paid and how are the fees submitted?

The Application Fee must be submitted with the Application. The Interconnection Study Fee is due when the applicant is notified that their Application was selected. The Success Fee is due at the time the Customer uploads the partially executed PPA and Interconnection Agreement into the online application portal for Georgia Power’s execution. All fees must be paid to Georgia Power through a wire transfer.

Interconnection

What is Interconnection Guidance, and how much does the Interconnection Guidance cost?

Georgia Power offers optional Interconnection Guidance, which may assist with evaluating project siting options and identifying potential interconnection constraints. Georgia Power offers three tiers of Interconnection Guidance, with increasing study and information made available with each tier. The cost ranges from $800 to $9,500, depending on the level of requested information. Interconnection Guidance is not a prerequisite for submitting an Application for the Customer-Connected Solar Program. Please see the Interconnection Guidance Program portal for more information.

What is an Interconnection Study?

An Interconnection Study is a technical review of the proposed Solar Facility and its effects on the safety and reliability of the electric grid. An Interconnection Study is required for all generators seeking to interconnect a generation resource to the Georgia Power electric system.

What are the interconnection requirements for this program?

Each Facility must interconnect to a Georgia Power Distribution Circuit at a unique Point of Interconnection. This means the Facility must interconnect to the Georgia Power-owned circuit operating at greater than 1 kV, but not more than 34.5 kV, existing and serving customers as of six months prior to the application submittal excluding facilities, equipment or other devices inside a substation. The Customer is responsible for obtaining any required easements on its Property up to the point of the change in ownership of the Interconnection Facilities. The Customer is also responsible for complying with Georgia Power’s “Distributed Generation Interconnection Construction Guidelines” found on the Program Website.

Who is responsible for paying Interconnection Costs?

The Customer is responsible for the payment of all Interconnection Costs.

Can a proposed solar Facility interconnect at a substation or to a transmission line?

No. This program is designed for projects that interconnect to a Georgia Power Distribution Circuit, not inside a substation or to a transmission line. The additional time and cost to interconnect at a substation or on a transmission line are much higher and of longer duration compared to an interconnection to a Georgia Power Distribution Circuit. Therefore, interconnecting to a substation or to a transmission line are not allowed in this program.

Required Mechanical Completion Date

What is the Required Mechanical Completion Date (“RMCD”)?

The RMCD is selected by the Customer. Georgia Power will use this date to guide its timing of the construction of the Interconnection Facilities and the Initial Synchronization. The RMCD may not exceed 210 days following Georgia Power’s execution of the PPA. No changes to the RMCD will be permitted after the PPA has been executed.

Who picks the RMCD and how is it selected?

The RMCD is the mutually agreed upon date in the Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) that represents the date the Customer must ensure the Facility achieves Mechanical Completion. The Customer must certify to Georgia Power that Mechanical Completion is achieved through submission of the Mechanical Completion Certificate.

Equipment

What solar array monitoring and tracking equipment are considered primary equipment for the Facility and not Auxiliary Equipment? Does Auxiliary Equipment require a separate meter?

Equipment that is an integral part of the Facility that supports the production of power (e.g., monitoring, tracking or weather station equipment) is considered primary equipment served by Station Service and is not separately metered. Equipment that is not an integral part of the Facility and does not directly support the production of power (e.g., security cameras, lights, heating and air systems, motorized gates) is considered Auxiliary Equipment and does require a separate meter.

Can the Customer own the transformer in this program?

Yes. When submitting the Application, the Customer will choose their preference of either Georgia Power owning or the Customer owning the transformer.

Other Questions

What is a Solar Energy Procurement Agreement (SEPA)?

A SEPA is a financing agreement that allows a solar developer and a Customer to partner together to construct, own, lease, and operate a Solar Facility on or near a Customer’s Premises.

Can a Customer designate a solar developer or another third party to complete the program application on their behalf?

Yes. A Customer can designate a solar developer or other third party to be its “Customer Contractor” and participate in this program on the Customer’s behalf. To do so, the Customer must complete and provide its consent and signature on the Customer Contractor Designation Form (included in Attachment E of the Program Guidelines).

Can a Customer participate in this program if they’ve already participated in a previous buy-all/sell-all program?

Yes, subject to certain limitations. If a Customer participated in a previous Georgia Power DG buyall/sell-all program (e.g., the Advanced Solar Initiative or the DG Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI)), they can participate in this new program as long as the aggregated capacity of the proposed solar Facility and any existing solar facility does not exceed 125% of the Customer’s peak demand for the preceding 12 months prior to the month of application.

Why must an Applicant, Customer or Seller (or any of project partners) get Georgia Power’s written consent before it can issue a press release?

Georgia Power requires advanced notice and pre-approval of any statement or press releases about the proposed Facility to prevent inadvertent claiming of the Facility RECs prior to a Customer executing a PPA with Georgia Power. Upon and after the Customer’s execution of the PPA, only the Customer and Georgia Power may make renewable claims concerning the Facility.

What is PowerClerk?

PowerClerk is the online portal used for this program. Applicants will be able to submit and track their Application progress using the PowerClerk portal.

How is the Customer-Connected Solar Program different than the 2020 DG Request for Proposals (“RFP”)?

The Customer-Connected Solar Program is a buy-all/sell-all, fixed price renewable program for Georgia Power’s customers interested in hosting a solar facility sized at 3 MW or less at their Premises. Georgia Power is seeking 25 MW of DG projects sized 3 MW or less for this program. Georgia Power will use an application process to select eligible facilities on a first-come, first-served basis in the Customer-Connected Solar Program. A participant will be paid a fixed price based on projected market prices for the term of its PPA, as provided in the Program Guidelines. Georgia Power contracts directly with the Customer and will retire the RECS on behalf of participating Customers.

In contrast, the 2020 DG RFP is a competitive buy-all/sell-all solicitation seeking 160 MW of DG projects sized 3 MW or less. A participant in the DG RFP must submit a competitive bid into the solicitation, which is open to greenfield DG projects that are not required to be located at or near an existing Georgia Power customer. Unlike the Customer-Connected Program where the RECs are retired on behalf of the specific participating customer, Georgia Power will retire the RECs purchased in the 2020 DG RFP on behalf of all customers.