Balancing environmental requirements with growing energy needs and the economy can be a challenge for any electric utility. However, Georgia Power is not letting that get in the way of trying to balance those demands for customers today and in the future. From various types of renewable energy to electric transportation, Georgia Power is finding ways to provide that win-win-win balance for you, the environment and the company.
As part of Georgia Power's commitment to balance environmental requirements with growing energy needs and the economy, the company's renewable development team is hard at work implementing activities for renewable generation, including solar, wind and biomass. This team is striving to ensure that Georgia Power is at the forefront of one of the most exciting parts of the utility industry. In this process, Georgia Power is working diligently to develop solutions that provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy.
For more than 100 years, Georgia Power has used the natural energy of falling water to generate efficient and economical energy for Georgia. A great renewable energy source, hydropower provides 2 percent of Georgia Power's total generation output. Located on five rivers across the state, Georgia Power's 16 hydro-generating stations can produce almost 593 megawatts, or energy to power more than 271,000 homes. In addition to the sustainable energy these hydro-generating units provide as part of Georgia Power's balanced approach, the counties where these units are located also are strengthened from the numerous economic and financial benefits derived, including tax revenue totaling more than $2.3 million annually. Learn more about hydropower and Georgia Power's hydro plants.
To provide our customers enhanced renewable offerings, Georgia Power is helping grow another renewable-energy source - solar. By year-end 2016, Georgia Power will have more than 900 megawatts of solar capacity, up from just 11 megawatts in 2013. Georgia Power has created the largest voluntary renewable portfolio in the nation and is leading the way in supporting cost-effective solar generation for its customers.
One of these projects is the development of three 30-megawatt solar plants at military bases at forts Benning, Stewart and Gordon. Through this partnership with the U.S. Army, Georgia Power is strengthening one of its largest customers while enabling the Army to become more sustainable. After Georgia Power completes construction of the project in 2016, it will own and operate the facility, which is expected to be the largest solar-generation installation on any U.S. military base.
As part of its solar energy program, including Large-Scale Solar and the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative, the company anticipates more than 500 new solar projects will be brought online in coming years to significantly increase capacity.
In addition, Georgia Power's first wholesale solar-generation project - constructed, owned and operated by the company - is expanding through installation of additional generation facilities at the Dalton solar plant. Upon completion of the expansion, the project is expected to be nearly 10 times the size of the existing one.
Since 1982 when Georgia Power's first solar-energy initiative became operational, it has made a name for itself in solar energy. Its first project was formerly recognized as the world's largest industrial application of solar co-generation at the time. In addition, the rooftop of Georgia Power's current corporate headquarters in Atlanta previously had the largest commercial application of solar collectors for space and water heating in the nation. Rooftop collectors once gathered heat to provide energy for internal temperature control and water heating. Learn more about solar energy.
Another way Georgia Power is adding sustainable generation as part of its environmental commitment and providing renewable energy for its customers is through wind energy. Georgia Power has a contract for 250 megawatts of wind energy - or enough electricity to power more than 50,000 homes - from two wind farms in southwest Oklahoma beginning in 2016.
In addition, Georgia Power applied for three leases offshore to conduct wind-viability tests, and two of those are in the works. If this is a viable and economic option, additional wind generation could be added to the company's renewable portfolio in the 2020s. Learn more about wind energy.
The oldest known fuel type, biomass is most commonly derived from low-grade wood waste. Georgia Power has a 53.5-megawatt capacity contract with a biomass facility in Barnesville, Ga., through 2032. Learn more about biomass energy.
Georgia Power is excited about what the growing electric-vehicle (EV) market offers our customers. As we make strides in EV technology, battery-powered cars are becoming more practical and reliable as well as more affordable. If you're ready to save dollars on fuel and maintenance costs, reduce your environmental impact, and save on tax incentives, electric transportation may be just right for you.
An estimated 5 to 10 percent of new cars on the road in Georgia in the next 10 years will be fueled in whole or in part by electricity. Georgia is already an EV-friendly state; the Atlanta market ranks second for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles nationwide.
Currently, Georgia Power is collaborating with Clean Cities-Georgia to address issues surrounding deployment of EV charging infrastructure in Atlanta. In addition, Georgia Power partnered with the city of Atlanta, state of Georgia and a coalition of stakeholders to bring the Nissan Leaf to market in 2011.
Georgia Power has been committed to research, development and marketing of electric transportation since the early 1990s.
As part of its initiative to help promote EV use, Georgia Power's plans include promoting public education and community charging stations, and offering promotional rebates to residential and business customers for installing electric-vehicle chargers.
Learn more about what's new in electric transportation and opportunities for you to get involved.