Georgia Power‘s 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) was unanimously approved this week by the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC). The IRP sets a goal of 72% more renewable generation by 2024, plus energy storage.
“Through the IRP process, Georgia Power will continue to invest in a diverse energy portfolio including the development of renewable resources in a way that benefits all customers to deliver clean, safe, reliable energy at rates that are well below the national average,” said Allen Reaves, Georgia Power’s senior vice president and senior production officer.
Under the approved IRP, Georgia Power will:
- Add 2,260 MW of new renewable (wind, solar, or biomass) generation to the company’s energy mix, which is already one of the largest voluntary renewable portfolios in the country. With this addition, Georgia Power will continue as a leader in solar energy production and grow its renewable generation by more than 72% to 5,390 MW by 2024 and increase the company’s total renewable capacity to 22% of its already diverse portfolio.
- Own and operate 80 MW of battery energy storage systems, which will help position Georgia as a leader in storage in the Southeast. Battery energy storage systems are critical to growing and maximizing the value of renewable energy and this will provide the company the opportunity to demonstrate the deployment, integration and operation of storage to gain valuable insight into how to maximize the value of storage for customers.
- Ensure the company meets all state and federal environmental compliance regulations. Georgia Power will move forward with five hydro investment projects including projects at Terrora, Tugalo, Bartletts Ferry, Nacoochee and Oliver generating facilities. The company will also continue with its environmental compliance strategy, which includes comprehensive plans to safely close all 29 ash ponds while protecting water quality every step of the way and complying with all state and federal requirements.
- Retire five coal-fired units (four at Plant Hammond near Rome, Georgia, and one at Plant McIntosh near Rincon, Georgia). This will reduce the company’s coal-fired generation capacity to approximately half of what it was in 2005. The company also will not renew its operating licenses for the Estatoah, Langdale, or Riverview hydro dams.
The plan also includes energy efficiency targets 15% more than those approved in previous IRPs, while adding new, innovative energy-saving programs for both residential and commercial customers.
The 2019 plan was a result of the in-depth IRP process, which includes projections of future fuel costs, load and energy forecasts, an analysis of available generation technologies, the 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 resources given changing environmental regulations and emerging technologies and discussed the growing importance of resilience to the electric system.
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