- Georgia Power to build 2.26 Gigawatts of renewables, 80 Megawatts of energy storage by 2024
- Pressure from stakeholders and low cost of renewables contributed to roll-out
- Move seen as a green light for renewables & storage industry the in Southeast
Last month Georgia Power announced a sweeping plan that calls for the southern utility to install 2.26 Gigawatts of wind, solar and biomass capacity in the next five years—which will account for more than a fifth of its total energy output and thus opening up a giant market for renewables in the Southeast.
The move represents an important shift in renewables investments: not only because of the region where it’s occurring, but because the ambitious plan was pushed forward by utility stakeholders who advanced it on the economic merits. “With the information that intervenors put forward, their modeling and their testimony, it’s becoming increasingly clear how cost-competitive renewables and increasingly storage are in Georgia,” said Daniel Tait of the utility watchdog Energy and Policy Institute.
Georgia Power, which is owned by Southern Company, will also develop some 80 Megawatts of energy storage in addition to their renewables initiative. In parallel with these initiatives, the utility has committed to build five hydropower projects while closing five coal-powered plants and 29 coal ash ponds. In the words of senior VP Allen Reaves: “We are positioning Georgia as a leader in the Southeast in battery energy storage, which is critical to growing and maximizing the value of renewable energy for customers as we increase our renewable generation by 72 percent by 2024.”
The company’s energy storage goals in particular are being seen as a cue to the industry that the Southeast means business when it comes to investing in grid technologies of the future. Looking at neighboring states in the region, for example, we find that Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light are lining up with 300-Megawatt and 409-Megawatt storage projects over the coming years.
What We’re Reading: “Georgia Power Boosts Plan for Renewables and Storage After Local Stakeholder Push,” published in Greentech Media