During the May 7 Administrative Session, the Georgia Public Service Commission unanimously approved Georgia Power Company’s 2013 Request for Proposals (RFP) for Solar Photovoltaic Generation and the associated Pro Forma Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative Utility Scale Power Purchase Agreement. The Commission’s approval of the forms marks another step forward in Georgia Power’s Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI), an innovative solar energy purchase program through which Georgia Power will contract for 210 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity during 2013 and 2014. As Commissioner Tim Echols explained, the Commission’s May 7 vote to allow Georgia Power to solicit bids for the 2013 utility-scale RFP “shows that good things come to those who wait,” emphasizing that the GPASI projects “add an enormous amount of renewable energy to our mix for years to come without increasing rates.”
In general, as a result of the GPASI, Georgia Power Company will procure solar energy through two programs. First, through a utility-scale RFP, the company will acquire 60 MW of solar generation capacity from large-scale solar developers during both 2013 and 2014 (120 MW of solar capacity in total). Second, Georgia Power Company will also acquire 45 MW of solar capacity from small-scale solar developers during each of the next two years (90 MW of capacity in total). While the application process for small-scale (up to 100 kW) and medium-scale (101 kW to 1 MW) facilities ended on March 11, 2013, the 2013 utility-scale RFP remains ongoing according to the following schedule:
|May 10, 2013||RFP Issue Date|
|June 4, 2013||Final Bids and Bid Fees Due|
|Sept. 13, 2013||Short List Determination|
|Nov. 6, 2013||Deadline to Finalize PPA Contracts|
|Nov. 15, 2013||Deadline toFile PPA's and Agreements for Commission Approval|
|Jan. 1, 2015||Required Commercial Operation Date|
Additional information regarding the GPASI is available online at Georgia Power’s advanced solar initiative website, the Georgia Public Service Commission’s docket and the independent monitor’s website.
First Comprehensive Smart Grid Modernization Program Goes Online in Norcross, Georgia
After outsourcing its metering and certain other operations to ECG Smart Grid LLC (ECG) and General Electric Company (GE), the City of Norcross has now become the first Georgia municipality to deploy a comprehensive smart grid as a service modernization program, a cloud-based system designed to make smart grid technology cost-effective for small- to medium-sized utility systems, especially those with multiple utilities (e.g., electric, gas, water, sewerage and telecom).
Among other features, the smart grid modernization system implemented in Norcross includes smart meters, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), meter data management systems (MDMS), customer information system integration, geospatial information systems (GIS), outage management systems (OMS), interactive voice response (IVR) and a consumer web portal. The benefits to the Norcross community will include access to more energy usage information; faster response to power outages; pre-payment options to better understand and control energy usage; online portal access to an array of information, including home energy usage, patterns and billing; and automated meter reading.
Additional information and updates regarding ECG and GE’s comprehensive smart grid modernization program is available online at ECG’s website.
 In re: Order Approving Georgia Power Company’s 2013 GPASI Utility Scale RFP Documents, Docket No. 36325 (Ga. P.S.C. May 7, 2013), available at http://facts.psc.state.ga.us/Public/GetDocument.aspx?ID=147905.
 News Release, Georgia Public Service Commission, “Georgia Public Service Commission Votes on Release of Utility Scale RFP for the Georgia Advanced Solar Initiative Program” (May 13, 2013), available at http://www.psc.state.ga.us/GetNewsRecordAttachment.aspx?ID=240.
 The advanced solar initiative website is located at http://www.georgiapower.com/about-energy/energy-sources/solar/asi/advanced-solar-initiative.cshtml.
 Georgia Public Service Commission Docket Number 36325 can be found at http://www.psc.state.ga.us/factsv2/Docket.aspx?docketNumber=36325.
 Accion Group’s website is located at http://gpscim.accionpower.com.
This advisory is published by Alston & Bird LLP to provide a summary of significant developments to our clients and friends. It is intended to be informational and does not constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation. This material may also be considered attorney advertising under court rules of certain jurisdictions.