As part of its 2016 integrated resource plan (IRP), filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC), Georgia Power is requesting approval of its renewable energy development initiative, which would bring an additional 525 MW of renewable generation to the company’s portfolio.
The company, a Southern Co. subsidiary, files an IRP every three years to outline how it can best meet Georgia’s changing energy needs for the next 20 years.
“As we navigate the changing energy and environmental landscape, striking the right balance between reliability and affordability is crucial to protecting our customers,” comments John Pemberton, senior vice president and senior production officer for Georgia Power.
The IRP process includes projections of future fuel costs, load and energy forecasts, an analysis of currently available generation technologies, a 10-year transmission plan, and an economic assessment of potential and proposed energy efficiency and demand response programs. The company also evaluated the cost-effectiveness of its generating fleet in light of increasing environmental regulations.
In addition, outlined in the IRP is a comprehensive analysis that provides the framework for determining and allocating the projected benefits and costs of integrating additional renewable resources in Georgia while maintaining reliability and affordability.
The 2016 plan also proposes energy efficiency targets similar to those approved in the previous IRP and adds new energy-saving programs for both residential and commercial customers. By 2019, according to Georgia Power, these programs are designed to reduce peak demand approximately 1.9 GW, which is 12% of the company’s current load.
Finally, the company is requesting the decertification of certain generation assets, including one coal unit and two small, oil-fired combustion turbines at Plant Mitchell, located near Albany, Ga., as well as a combustion turbine (CT) at Plant Kraft on the Georgia coast. Georgia Power is also seeking to decertify and sell its ownership in an oil-fired CT in Intercession City, Fla., to majority owner Duke Energy Florida.
According to Georgia Power, this filing initiates a series of additional filings and public hearings with the PSC. Following this process, the PSC is expected to vote on the company’s IRP request this summer.