Georgia isn’t normally related to daring clear vitality strikes, however this week state regulators determined to make some historical past.
The Public Service Fee did so in a vote on Georgia Energy’s built-in useful resource plan (IRP), a method that outlines what assets the utility plans to make use of over 20 years. (Dockets 42310 and 42311).
Filed in January, the unique IRP referred to as for 1,000 MW of renewables. Later, in a stipulation settlement with fee employees that quantity was elevated to 1,650 MW. Then, earlier than the fee voted on the plan yesterday, its chairman, Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, referred to as to extend the renewable objective to 2,210 MW.
The fee accredited McDonald’s proposal — the biggest improve in renewable vitality in Georgia’s historical past, including 72% extra by 2024, and rising Georgia Energy’s renewable portfolio to 5,390 MW.
“Consultants anticipate about 11 GW of photo voltaic to be deployed in 2020, and it will characterize about 10% of the overall in the whole US. That makes it vital,” mentioned Tim Echols, fee vice chairman, in an interview with Microgrid Information.
Not California but, however…
Echols added: “States like California and Arizona have already acquired all that their grids can tolerate for now, and people states have moved on to battery arrays to remove the duck curve impact on their grid. So California is approach forward of Georgia with regards to batteries, simply as they had been with photo voltaic. However I feel in time we’ll deploy batteries on a considerable foundation — though it could be in 2022 or 2025.”
The plan does require 80 MW of vitality storage tasks that Georgia Energy will search by aggressive bidding. The utility will personal and function the batteries.
“Working with the Georgia PSC, we’re positioning Georgia as a frontrunner within the Southeast in battery vitality storage, which is important to rising and maximizing the worth of renewable vitality for purchasers as we improve our renewable era by 72% by 2024,” mentioned Allen Reaves, Georgia Energy’s senior vice chairman and senior manufacturing officer, in a press release issued by the utility.
The fee additionally accredited a small ($250,000) pilot undertaking utilizing lithium ion batteries for electrical car charging. The pilot will discover how one can maintain quick charging reasonably priced and insulate the grid from spikes in electrical energy demand.
No motion on Emory microgrid
The fee didn’t take motion on a submitting by Emory University, made late within the IRP course of, to put in a microgrid along side Georgia Energy. Echols mentioned that no movement was made on the Emory microgrid as a result of a transparent plan was not offered. The IRP was considered one of a number of routes the college has been exploring to develop the microgrid.
Georgia Energy, a Southern Firm subsidiary, is partnering with one other college within the state, Georgia Tech, on a 1.four MW microgrid anticipated to go stay within the fall. (Individually, Southern additionally operates PowerSecure, an unregulated affiliate that builds microgrids throughout the US.)
Along with the clear vitality necessities, the IRP closes 5 coal-fired crops in Georgia. “I don’t suppose we’ll ever construct one other coal plan in Georgia,” Echols mentioned.
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The utility will conduct a number of IRP aggressive solicitations for the assets, together with for 160 MW of distributed photo voltaic, of which 50 MW will probably be buyer sited DG bought at prevented value.
Georgia Energy should file an IRP each three years underneath a state regulation launched in 1991.
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