Georgia PSC expands solar energy generation portfolio

On July 11 the Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) approved by a 4-1 vote a stipulated agreement to resolve all issues in the Georgia Power Company (Company) 2013 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) filed in Docket 36498 and Application for Certification of Its Demand Side Management (DSM) Plan in Docket 36499.

The Commission also approved by a vote of 3-2 a motion proposed by Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr., that Georgia Power include in this IRP an additional 525 Megawatts (MW) of new solar generation. The amended motion requires that 260 MW be brought online by 2015 and 265 MW by 2016. The new solar generation will be composed of 100 MW of distributed generation and 425 MW of utility scale solar and will require competitive bidding.

“I believe this is the right step to take if we are to encourage the development and use of solar energy,” said Commissioner McDonald. “This motion is not a mandate, but an expansion of Georgia Power’s current solar portfolio.”

The Commission modified the solar motion by adopting two proposals by Commissioner Stan Wise that require the Company to use an independent evaluator in the bid process and prohibit accepting any bids that exceed Georgia Power’s levelized avoided cost for the term of purchase power agreements.

The Commission adopted two other motions by Commissioner Tim Echols. One allows Georgia Power to develop its proposed small wind demonstration pilot project that compares several different wind turbine technologies. The other requires Georgia Power to file within 30 days its project plan for a low-income demand-side management (DSM) program for the direct installation of eligible energy efficiency measures for about 25,000 eligible homes.

“Georgia has to look to the future,” said Commission Chairman Chuck Eaton, “We are making decisions that affect millions of Georgians, ensuring that we have reliable electric service so we do not experience brownouts in extreme weather conditions and promoting economic growth and development.”

Source: Georgia PSC


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