Georgia Power signs deal with Rollcast biomass project

Georgia Power announced May 14 that it has added 53.5 MW of new biomass capacity to the company’s generation portfolio through a 20-year purchase power agreement (PPA) with Rollcast Energy Inc.

Georgia Power, a unit of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), will receive all generation output of the newly completed Piedmont Green Power plant, located in Barnesville, Ga. The plant, which began commercial operation on April 19 after two years of construction, will provide enough electricity to power more than 35,000 homes.

“We continue to implement a strategy that diversifies our generation portfolio through renewable sources that are cost-effective for our customers,” said Paul Bowers, president and CEO of Georgia Power.

The biomass generation process at Piedmont Green Power will create energy by utilizing forestry byproducts found in places such as logging areas and land clearings. The plant will process 500,000 tons of woody biomass annually, 100% of which will come from areas around the plant. The plant owner will retain all Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).

Georgia Power said it continues to pursue economic opportunities to grow its renewable portfolio and the addition of the biomass generation from Piedmont Green Power complements existing renewable resources that are currently in place. Most recently, the company announced plans to purchase energy from two wind farms in Oklahoma with capacity totaling 250 MW.

Earlier this year, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI), which will contract for up to 210 MW of solar capacity through long-term PPAs with Georgia Power customers and solar developers, likely creating the largest voluntarily developed solar portfolio from an investor-owned utility. The GPASI complements the company’s existing solar resources, which include leading-edge research and demonstration projects and a 50-MW Large Scale Solar program already in place.

Georgia Power told the Georgia PSC on May 9 in a brief letter that it is executing certain contracts for the purchase of firm capacity and energy from renewable qualifying facilities utilizing the proxy unit methodology.

  • The first contract, executed on April 29 with Fort Gaines Energy LLC, will provide Georgia Power with 50 MW of capacity and energy from Fort Gaines’s biomass-fired qualifying facility generator located in Clay County, Ga.
  • The second contract, which was to be executed on May 13 with Green Power Solutions of Georgia LLC, will provide Georgia Power with 56 MW of capacity and energy from Green Power Solutions’ biomass-fired qualifying facility generator located in Dublin, Ga.

These QF proxy contracts will meet a portion of the need identified in Georgia Power’s 2015 Request for Proposals, the utility told the commission.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.