Bigger than a giant peach, Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of US utility holding company Southern Company. The regulated utility provides electricity to about 2.4 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers throughout most of Georgia. It has interests in about 20 fossil-fueled, 2 nuclear, and 20 hydroelectric power plants that give it about 22,000 MW of generating capacity. When necessary the company purchases excess power from nine small power producers. Georgia Power sells wholesale electricity to several cooperatives and municipalities in the region. The utility also offers energy efficiency, surge protection, and outdoor lighting products and services.
The company released an integrated resource plan in 2008, which in addition to a renewables push, included building two additional nuclear power units at its power plant in Vogtle, near Waynesboro, Georgia (the country's first nuclear power plants in more than 30 years). In 2010 Georgia Power received a provisional agreement for loan guarantees from the Department of Energy to fund their construction, and in 2012 it secured US Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval to go ahead and build these units.
To upgrade its coal plants, between 1990 and 2015 Georgia Power will invest $7 billion on environmental control technologies.
In 2012 the company purchased about 440 kilowatt hours of power from other providers.
Mild weather in 2012 lead to a 9% decrease in revenue from business and residential customers. Net income actually climbed 2% due to low natural gas prices and reduced costs related to lower demand.
The company is committed to diversifying its portfolio to include more green energy. To that end, in 2012 it opened the Piedmont Green Power Plant in Barnesville, Georgia, and signed a 20-year agreement with Rollcast Energy to purchase about 54 megawatts of biomass energy. The following year it signed a contract with EDP Renewables North America for 250 megawatts of wind energy which it will begin receiving in 2016. In late 2013 Georgia Power opened its Water Research Center that will look for ways to reduce its power plant water use and improve the quality of water it releases from plants.
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