Georgia project to accelerate PV deployment in the State

Georgia Power Company has proposed a 210MW 3 year initiative to create one of the largest voluntarily-developed solar portfolios by an investor-owned utility in the U.S.

The Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI) would add 210 MW of additional solar capacity to Georgia Power’s portfolio through 2015.

To meet the 210 MW target, Georgia Power would purchase 60 MW annually for three years with projects ranging in size from one to 20 megawatts, which applies to very large commercial or utility-scale projects. The other 10 MW would be met through a distributed-scale program for residential and commercial projects.

“We are encouraged by the news that Georgia Power has taken a first step towards realising Georgia’s vast potential for solar energy that to date has gone largely untapped” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

“Georgia Power’s initiative demonstrates that solar is a trusted and reliable energy source and has an important role in achieving fuel source diversity. However, more needs to be done for Georgia to become a true leader in solar and to build a sustainable solar market in the state. Important policy decisions lie ahead. It’s vital that the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) allow both centralised and distributed solar generation to fulfill a larger role in the state’s energy mix.”

Mr Resch added that in his view the program announced by Georgia Power offers a very limited program for homeowners and business owners to install solar on their own roofs.

“Distributed solar must be allowed to grow at a rate higher than 10MW per year in order to create a truly sustainable market and jobs across the state” he explained. “In addition, the state needs competitive rules and standards for connecting to the grid as well as policies to allow for other solar providers to participate in the market.”

SEIA estimates that the the amount of solar installed in the U.S. more than doubled in the second quarter of 2012 compared to 2011, and growth is expected to continue throughout the second half of the year.

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