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The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) has, in a 5-0 vote, approved Atlanta-based utility Georgia Power's new solar initiative - the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI).

Through the GPASI, the utility will acquire 210 MW of additional solar capacity through long-term contracts over a two-year period. According to Georgia Power, the initiative creates the largest voluntarily developed solar portfolio from an investor-owned utility.

To meet the target of 210 MW, Georgia Power's utility-scale program will purchase 60 MW annually for two years through a competitive request for proposals (RFP) program, with projects ranging in size from 1 MW to 20 MW. By as early as 2013, a distributed-scale program will provide opportunities for up to 45 MW per year of smaller solar projects with specific reservations for small-scale (less than 100 kW) and medium-scale (100-1,000 kW) projects.

RFPs for the utility-scale program will be conducted in 2013 and 2014 and will require commercial operation dates in 2015 and 2016. Georgia Power says it could begin signing solar contracts under the distributed-scale program as early the first quarter of 2013.

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