GA SB 51, The Georgia Cogeneration and Distributed Generation Act

Georgia Senator Buddy Carter has introduced a Senate bill for the current session of the legislature, SB 51, “The Georgia Cogeneration and Distributed Generation Act of 2001”. It attempts to fix Georgia’s special solar financing problem, the antique 1973 Territorial Electric Service Act.

Why 2001? Apparently Buddy Carter has been introducing it every year since then. Last year Georgia Power’s disinformation campaign nuked it when it was SB 401. Has the legislature gotten tired of Georgia Power and its parent the Southern Company being way late and overbudget on those new nukes? Does the legislature want Georgia citizens to get the savings and job benefits of the fastest growing energy source in the country? Will GaSU help with SB 51, or only with GaSU’s attempt to become a solar monopoly utility? You can contact your legislators and tell them what you think. Every one of them who voted for Georgia Power’s stealth-tax rate hike for that nuke boondoggle should vote for SB 51 to start getting Georgia on a clean path to jobs and energy independence.

This bill is not perfect: it counts “generator fueled by biomass” as renewable energy in addition to solar and wind (and fuel cell, municipal solid waste, landfill gas, and hydropower). However, it strikes utility monopolies on both ‘Customer generator’ and ‘Distributed generation facility’. It gets rid of the current ridiculous restriction of “Has a peak generating capacity of not more than 10kw for a residential application and 100kw for a commercial application”. The typography seems inaccurate, but it appears to strike completely Is located on the customer’s premises: if so, that’s a big win. If trees shade your house or business, you can put your solar panels some place else and still qualify as a customer generator. However, it leaves in Is intended primarily to offset part or all of the customer generator’s requirements for electricity, so you can’t set up like GaSU wants to without a further modification.

SB 51 changes “the commercially reasonable” to “a commercially reasonable” rate for utility chartes to the customer for metering services, and forbids charging for:

any standby, capacity, interconnection, or other fee or charge, other than a monthly service charge, unless agreed to by the customer generator or approved by the commission, in the case of an electric utility, or the appropriate governing body, in the case of any other electric service provider or electric supplier;

Well, that’s a barn door for exceptions, but at least it’s an improvement.

The full text of the current version of SB 51 is appended below in web-readable form.

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13 LC 36 2234
Senate Bill 51
By: Senator Carter of the 1st

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT

 

1 To amend Article 1 of Chapter 3 of Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated,
2 relating to generation and distribution of electricity generally, so as to change certain
3 provisions relating to “The Georgia Cogeneration and Distributed Generation Act of 2001”;
4 to provide for declaration of policy; to provide for definitions; to provide for the financing
5 of distributed generation through leases, power purchase agreements, and other financing
6 mechanisms; to change certain provisions relating to rates and fees of electric service
7 providers; to change certain provisions relating to the purchase of energy from customer
8 generators; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
9

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:


10

SECTION 1.

11 Article 1 of Chapter 3 of Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to
12 generation and distribution of electricity generally, is amended by revising Code
13 Section 46-3-51, relating to legislative findings and declaration of policy, as follows:
14 “46-3-51.
15 (a) The legislature finds that it is in the public interest to:
16 (1) Encourage private investment in renewable energy resources;
17 (2) Stimulate the economic growth of Georgia; and
18 (3) Enhance the continued diversification of the energy resources used in Georgia.
19 (b) The General Assembly further finds and declares that a program to provide distributed
20 generation for eligible cogenerators is a way to encourage private investment in renewable
21 energy resources, stimulate in-state economic growth, enhance the continued
22 diversification of this state’s energy resource mix, and reduce interconnection and
23 administrative costs. It is the intent of the General Assembly that investment in, and
24 implementation of, distributed generation and cogeneration shall be governed by this part.”
25

SECTION 2.

26 Said article is further amended by revising paragraphs (4) and (5) of Code Section 46-3-52,
27 relating to definitions, as follows:
28 “(4) ‘Customer generator’ means the owner and operator of a distributed generation
29 facility a customer who utilizes the electrical energy from a distributed generation
30 facility, whether the customer finances the distributed generation facility by purchase,
31 lease, loan, or other form of financing, including a power purchase agreement.
32 (5) ‘Distributed generation facility’ means a facility owned and operated by a customer
33 of the electric service provider provided by or for a customer generator for the production
34 of electrical energy that:
35 (A) Uses a solar Photovoltaic photovoltaic system,; fuel cell,; generator fueled by
36 biomass, municipal solid waste, landfill gas, or hydropower; or wind turbine;
37 (B) Has a peak generating capacity of not more than 10kw for a residential application
38 and 100kw for a commercial application;
39 (C) Is located on the customer’s premises;
40 (D)(C) Operates in parallel with the electric service provider’s distribution facilities;
41 (E)(D) Is connected Connected to the electric service provider’s distribution system on
42 either side of the electric service provider’s meter; and
43 (F)(E)
44 Is intended primarily to offset part or all of the customer generator’s requirements for electricity.”
45

SECTION 3.

46 Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 46-3-54, relating to electric service
47 providers and rates and fees of electric service providers, as follows:
48 “46-3-54.
49 (a) An electric service provider:
50 (1) Shall make either bidirectional metering or single directional metering available to
51 customer generators depending on how the distributed generation facility is connected
52 to the distribution system of the electric service provider;
53 (2) Shall enter into a written agreement with the customer generator to charge the
54 customer generator the a commercially reasonable rate established by the commission,
55 or the appropriate governing body, in the case of any other electric service provider or
56 electric supplier, for metering services;
57 (3) In setting the fees for metering service, the commission, or the appropriate governing
58 body, in the case of any other electric service provider or electric supplier, will include
59 the direct costs associated with interconnecting or administering metering services or
60 distributed generation facilities and will not allocate these costs among the utility’s entire
61 ustomer base; and
62 (4)(3) In establishing such a fee for metering services, the electric service provider shall
63 not charge the customer generator any standby, capacity, interconnection, or other fee or
64 charge, other than a monthly service charge, unless agreed to by the customer generator
65 or approved by the commission, in the case of an electric utility, or the appropriate
66 governing body, in the case of any other electric service provider or electric supplier;
67 (4) Shall not charge a customer generator any monthly fee or standby charge or require
68 any equipment, insurance, or any other requirement unless the fee, charge, or requirement
69 shall apply to other similarly situated customers who are not customer generators; and
70 (5) In all cases, shall reasonably conform any and all charges or fees imposed on a
71 customer generator to the actual cost of providing the service for which the charges or
72 fees are imposed.
73 (b) In setting the fees for metering service, the commission, or the appropriate governing
74 body, in the case of any other electric service provider or electric supplier, shall include the
75 direct costs associated with interconnecting or administering metering services or
76 distributed generation facilities and shall not allocate these costs among the utility’s entire
77 customer base.”
78
79

SECTION 4.

All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

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