Georgia Power greenlights 1.6 GW of renewable energy by 2021

georgia solar

Obligatory shot of peaches to stand in for general news about Georgia.

The Georgia Public Service Commission today by a 4-1 vote approved a revised Georgia Power Company Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that will include an additional 1,600 Megawatts (MW) of renewable energy by 2021.

 

“Adding renewables and nuclear together makes sense,” said Commissioner Tim Echols. “I am committed to keeping rates low and energy plentiful, diverse and clean.”

Some details on the approvals:

1. Approval of an increase in the Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI) so that the Company will procure 1,200 MW (150 MW of Distributed Generation (DG) and 1,050 MW of utility scale resources.) The utility scale procurement will take place through two separate Requests for Proposals (RFP), one in 2017 and one in 2019. No more than 300 MW of wind resources will be procured through REDI. This resource is broken down into 100 MW DG and 50 MW customer sited, both from 1 MW to 3 MW in size.

2. Approval of an additional 100 MW of DG with an RFP to be issued in 2017 with a commercial operation date of 2018 or 2019.

3. Approval of an additional 200 MW of self-build renewable capacity to develop renewable projects including potential projects at Robins Air Force Base and Fort Benning. The projects must be at or below the Company’s avoided costs. No more than 75 MW of this capacity may be used for nonmilitary projects.

4. Approval of 1 MW for a pilot solar demonstration project by “The Ray” along the Interstate 85 corridor near LaGrange, Georgia to be completed by 2019. This is included in the 75 MW of non-military selfbuild.

5. Approval to include 3 MW of self-build community solar by Georgia Power. This is included in the 75 MW of non-military self-build.

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6. Approval of the Company’s High Wind Study. The Company will file quarterly reports on the status of the Study.

7. An increase in the Company’s long term reserve planning margin to 16.25 per cent.

8. The decertification (closure, retirement and decommissioning) of Plant Mitchell Units 3, 4A, and 4B, Plant Kraft Unit 1 CT and Intercession City CT. The agreement limits annual spending on retirement costs to $1 million. The Company will file with the Commission prior to incurring any increase in that spending.

9. Approval of the Company’s closed ash pond solar demonstration project.

The commission also approved a nuclear power plant decision, but we will skip over that part of the story.

 

— Solar Builder magazine

Georgia Power authorized for 44 MW plant at Marine Corps Logistics Base

Georgia Power recently executed a real estate outgrant with the Department of the Navy (DON) that authorizes the company to use land on the base for a new 31 MW AC, or 44 MW DC, solar generation facility at Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany. The agreement is a significant achievement for the project, which will further diversify the company’s energy portfolio and increase DON’s energy security.

Georgia Power“As work continues at the Submarine Base Kings Bay project near Savannah, we’re excited to move one step closer to starting construction on our second Department of the Navy project at MCLB Albany,” said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of Renewable Development for Georgia Power. “Our continued partnership with the Navy is helping us grow solar in Georgia while strengthening our state’s military bases and stimulating investment in Georgia communities.”

The outgrant provides Georgia Power with access to 150 acres of land at MCLB Albany for the development of ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to deliver energy to the state’s electric grid. The company expects to bring the facility online in less than a year at or below the company’s avoided cost, the amount projected it would cost the company to generate comparable energy from other sources. The solar project at MCLB Albany is estimated to represent an approximate $75 million investment at the installation.

RELATED: Georgia Power now offering Green Bonds to support renewable energy development

“MCLB Albany has a strong commitment to energy security. Through our recent adoption of cutting-edge technologies, to include landfill gas-to-electric generators and ground source heat pumps, and our current effort to construct a biomass steam-fed electric generator, we are on track to achieve ‘net zero’ status well ahead of the Secretary of the Navy mandate,” said Marine Corps Col. James C. Carroll III, commanding officer, MCLB Albany. “This project with Georgia Power will add to the base’s energy security and diversify the area’s power supply, making the grid and all who rely on it more resilient.”

Renewable energy serving Georgia electric customers today includes solar, wind and biomass. Georgia Power’s innovative solar programs, such as the Advanced Solar Initiative and new solar projects at five Georgia military bases, have been developed in coordination with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) and are adding thousands of solar panels to the state’s energy landscape with all of the company’s renewable energy being procured at costs designed to prevent upward pressure on customer rates. In addition, as part of the 2016 Integrated Resource Plan recently filed with the Georgia PSC, the company has proposed an additional 525 megawatts of renewable generation and studies for potential new future wind generation in Georgia.

— Solar Builder magazine

Georgia Power now offering Green Bonds to support renewable energy development

Georgia PowerGeorgia Power has completed the issuance of $325 million aggregate principal amount of Green Bonds, becoming the first retail electric utility in the United States to offer this type of security to support investment in sustainable generation. Offering the new Green Bonds is the latest way the company is supporting renewable development in Georgia including solar, wind and biomass.

“Georgia Power is a leader in responsible renewable development thanks to a shared commitment and collaboration with the Public Service Commission and renewable developers,” said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “The issuance of these bonds will help us bring more renewable energy to the state while ensuring reliability and keeping our rates low for customers.”

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Offering Green Bonds allows Georgia Power to access a broader investment base for renewable projects and is expected to help keep financing costs lower for customers. Georgia Power intends to allocate the net proceeds of the offering primarily to renewable energy generation projects with any remaining net proceeds allocated to electric vehicle charging infrastructure or payments under power purchase agreements served by solar power or wind power generation facilities.

Renewable energy serving Georgia electric customers today as part of a diverse, balanced generation mix includes solar, wind and biomass. Georgia Power’s innovative solar programs, such as the Advanced Solar Initiative and new solar projects at five Georgia military bases, are adding thousands of solar panels to the state’s energy landscape with all of the company’s renewable energy being procured at costs designed to prevent upward pressure on customer rates. As part of the 2016 Integrated Resource Plan, filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) in January, the company has proposed an additional 525 megawatts of renewable generation for customers, as well as new initiatives to study the potential for new future wind generation in the state.

— Solar Builder magazine

Georgia Power files to stay the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

solar regulations

While the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is mostly seen as a win for the solar industry overall, not all of the players involved in its implementation are excited about it. Georgia Power, for one, has joined with other several energy companies across the country in support of a motion to stay the Clean Power Plan, due to what it sees as potential negative impacts on reliability and affordability of electricity in the state of Georgia.

In a filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today, Georgia Power Senior Vice President and Senior Production Officer John Pemberton noted that, under EPA’s proposed compliance solution, the company would be required to retire 4,800 megawatts (MW) – more than 20 percent of its total capacity – of fossil fuel-fired generation by 2030. EPA’s compliance solution includes the premature closure of units at Plants Bowen, Hammond, McIntosh and Scherer, as well as Plant Gaston in Alabama.

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In addition, based on EPA’s Integrated Planning Model (IPM) analysis, Georgia Power believes the impacts could include:

  • Higher production costs and an insufficient reserve margin resulting in increased customer costs of approximately $830 million in 2016 and 2017.
  • More than $515 million in additional costs for needed transmission projects with approximately $70 million in costs in 2016 and 2017 alone.
  • $485 million in costs related to impacts to the company’s fuels program in 2016 and 2017.
  • Loss of more than $8 million in annual property taxes and approximately $15 million in annual fuel taxes (based on 2014 receipts) beginning in 2016.
  • Loss of nearly 800 full-time jobs in 2016 and 2017 alone.

Based on EPA’s results, and because it takes many years to plan and implement changes, Georgia Power would have to begin activities immediately in 2016 and 2017, regardless of required state implementation plans yet to be developed. Many of the costs and impacts to reliability could not be reversed once the changes have been started under EPA’s plan.

Georgia Power relies on an established process with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) known as the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), to make long-term planning decisions on how to best meet the future energy needs of Georgia reliably and affordably. The IRP is filed every three years and includes a 20-year planning horizon. Georgia Power’s next IRP will be filed with the Georgia PSC in 2016.

 

— Solar Builder magazine

Dominion Acquires Richland Solar Center

dominion-logoWith its acquisition of the 20-megawatt Richland Solar Center facility, Dominion has upped its contracted solar generating portfolio to 364 megawatts.

Dominion announced the acquisition of the facility from HelioSage Energy April 15. Located in Twiggs County, near Jeffersonville, Georgia, is expected to enter service in 2015 and has secured a 20-year power purchase agreement and interconnection agreements with Georgia Power. An engineering, procurement, construction contract has also been signed. The center is expected to qualify for the federal Investment tax credit.

“The Richland acquisition adds to our diverse generation fleet fuel mix and furthers Dominion’s goal of having 625 megawatts of contracted solar generating capacity in service by the end of 2016,” said David A. Christian, Dominion Generation CEO.

Dominion’s total contracted solar generating portfolio consists of 364 megawatts in operation or under development in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Utah. The 7.7-megawatt Azalea Solar Power Facility, located outside Davisboro, Georgia, is also owned and operated by Dominion. The company plans to develop up to 400 megawatts of utility solar generation in Virginia by 2020.

— Solar Builder magazine