The staff at the Georgia Public Service Commission has endorsed a plan by Southern (NYSE: SO) subsidiary Georgia Power to increase its solar power portfolio by 210 MW over the next several years.
The commission itself must still vote to approve the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative, a utility spokesperson told GenerationHub Nov. 15. That vote is expected to occur on Tuesday, Nov. 20, said a PSC spokesperson.
Georgia Power announced its ambitious new solar effort in September.
The new solar capacity must be located in Georgia, said a company spokesperson.
Georgia Power has said it plans to buy 60 MW annually for three years through a competitive request for proposal (RFP) program with projects ranging in size from 1-20 MW. By as early as 2013, a distributed scale program would provide opportunities for up to 10 MW per year of smaller solar projects with specific reservations for small scale (less than 100 kW) and medium scale (100-1,000 kW) projects.
RFPs for the utility scale program will be conducted in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and require commercial operation dates in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Georgia Power could begin signing solar contracts under the distributed scale program as early as first quarter of 2013, the utility has said.
Developed in cooperation with the PSC, the GPASI will complement the company’s existing solar resources. Georgia Power currently has more than 11 MW serving customers and another 50 MW under contract to begin delivering power in the near future.