Georgia Power has received approval from the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) for a new tariff that will nearly double the amount of solar energy the company purchases to supply its Green Energy Program.

The Solar Purchase Tariff will allow Georgia Power to purchase an additional 1.5 MW of solar capacity from customers at 17 cents per kWh for generating facilities designed to produce less than 100 kW. Customers who sell solar under the new tariff must agree to share all cost and operational information with Georgia Power so that the company can gain experience in solar electricity generation.

The company will also issue a request for proposals (RFP) for an additional 1 MW of solar capacity with no project size restriction. Georgia Power will consider solar proposals in this RFP with a price of 15 cents per kWh or less.

Georgia Power will use this solar energy to supply the Premium Green Energy product. Customers can purchase 100-kWh blocks of Premium Green Energy with a 50 percent solar component for $5 per block or Standard Green Energy, generated from biomass sources, for $3.50 per block.

Since Georgia Power began the Green Energy program in October 2006, nearly 4,200 customers have committed to purchase approximately 3.8 million kWh of green energy, or enough electricity to power approximately 3,800 homes using 1,000 kWh a month.

"Since we began offering customers a 50 percent solar option, we've added almost 1,000 new blocks of the Premium Green Energy product to the program," said Angela Strickland, director of Energy Efficiency. "By increasing our solar capacity in the program to 5.4 MW, we hope to keep pace with the significant growth of solar purchases by our customers both now and in the future."

Georgia Power will continue to offer its Renewable-Non Renewable Resources (RNR) tariff to customers who use their solar facilities to either offset their electricity bill or who sell the power back to Georgia Power at the company's solar avoided cost.

Georgia Power's Solar Purchase Tariff and revised RNR tariff will go into effect Jan. 1, 2011.