The recent approval of Georgia Power’s Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI) has sweetened the prospects for large-scale commercial solar projects in the Peach State, and represents a significant financial opportunity for Georgia businesses.
The GPASI is basically a “Feed-in-Tariff” (FIT), an arrangement in which Georgia Power agrees to buy all of the electricity produced from eligible solar systems at a pre-determined price. This arrangement provides system owners with a guaranteed, financially-secure buyer of the solar generated electricity, and when combined with available federal solar incentives, can provide excellent project-level investment returns.
Solar FITs have been used extensively in many other markets (Germany, Spain & Italy in Europe, and Los Angeles, Rhode Island, Long Island in the U.S. – just to name a few), and tend to be very effective at spurring new solar installations. Historically (and despite some the best solar resources in the US), Georgia has had a very limited level of large-scale commercial solar installations, but we expect this to change dramatically with the launch of the GPASI. In total, the GPASI is seeking to facilitate the construction of 210MW of new solar projects.
The GPASI targets three separate system size categories: Small (systems under 100kW), Medium (systems 100kW–1MW) and Large (systems 1MW-20MW). For the Small & Medium systems, GP offers a standard fixed-price offer under 20-year power purchase agreements. For the Large systems, GP utilizes a competitive reverse auction program in which solar projects are selected based upon the lowest market clearing pricing.
In total, the GPASI will enter into solar purchase contracts for 90MW of Small & Medium systems (also called the “Distributed Scale Program” – to include 45MW in 2013 and another 45MW in 2014) and 120MW of Large systems (including 60MW in 2013 and 60MW in 2014).
The EnterSolar team is very excited that Georgia Power and the PSC have made the decision to promote in-state solar power generation in such a meaningful and well-structured manner. If you are a business or real estate owner in Georgia and are interested in learning more about these attractive new solar incentives can benefit your business, please contact EnterSolar today.