Alabamans and Floridians come together in PowerSouth Energy Cooperative which provides wholesale power services to its member-owners (16 electric cooperatives and four municipal distribution utilities). Its distribution members provide electric services to almost 417,200 customer meters in central and southern Alabama (39 counties) and western Florida (10 counties). PowerSouth Energy Cooperative operates a more than 2,200-mile power transmission system and has more than 2,100 MW of generating capacity from interests in six fossil-fueled and hydroelectric power plants. The company also provided propane, but sold its Cooperative Propane unit in 2011 to focus on its core power businesses.
To meet future demand and tightening environmental regulations, the company is looking to diversify and expand its power production assets, with an emphasis on cleaner energy plants. In 2009 PowerSouth's long-term energy plans included a 20-year contract for 125 MW of nuclear power from two Vogtle Units being built by the Municipal Energy Authority of Georgia, near Augusta, and due to come onstream in 2016 and 2017. The purchase iwas PowerSouth's first foray into nuclear power. The company is also investing in windpower and biomass-to-energy initiatives.
The global recession, lower commodity prices, and weaker demand saw the company's revenues drop in 2009. However, the downturn had an upside. The lower cost of and need for purchased power (wholesale acquisitions from outside generators) helped PowerSouth save on costs, allowing it to post an improved operating margin.
Extreme summer heat forced up power demand across the company's service area and lifted its revenues in 2010. The increase in revenues outstripped expenses, resulting in an improved net income that year.
Founded in 1941 as Alabama Electric Cooperative, the coop promotes a strong economic development program aimed at bringing industry into both Alabama and Florida.
In 2008 Alabama Electric Cooperative changed its name to PowerSouth Energy Cooperative to better reflect its service territory (Alabama and Florida) and its opportunities for future growth.
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