Georgia Power Integrated Resource Plan Update
From the desk of GAM General Counsel Clay Jones:
On October 27, Georgia Power Company (“Georgia Power” or “Company”) filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission (“Commission”) a proposed Update to its Integrated Resource Plan (“IRP”) that was last approved in 2022. The Company asserts the Update is necessary due to unprecedented economic growth and substantially increased demand for electric service.
We anticipate this new case will last approximately six months, including multiple rounds of hearings beginning in January and a decision by the Commission in April. GAM has intervened at the Commission and will actively participate in this case.
1. Economic Growth and Increased Electric Demand
Georgia Power’s filing addresses the rate of economic growth in Georgia and the attendant increase in electric demand. Since the conclusion of the 2022 IRP in July of last year, Georgia’s economic development efforts have resulted in $24 billion in additional capital investments and the addition of 38,000 new jobs to an already robust rate of economic growth.
This rapid increase in economic activity has led to new projections of electric demand and Georgia Power’s needed capacity to serve its customers. As of the 2022 IRP, Georgia Power anticipated less than 400 megawatts (“MW”) of growth between the winter of 2023/2024 and the winter of 2030/2031. The Company’s current projections have dramatically changed, now anticipating load growth of 6,600 MW through the winter of 2030/2031 – approximately 17 times greater than previously forecasted.
2. IRP Update Proposals
In response, Georgia Power proposes acting on an accelerated timeline to ensure the availability of needed electric capacity to serve customers. These capacity needs are now anticipated to arrive in the winter of 2025/2026, a full three years earlier than projected in the 2022 IRP proceeding. The Company proposes a series of actions to supplement the 2022 IRP including:
- Executing a purchased power agreement (“PPA”) to procure power from generating assets owned by its affiliate Mississippi Power;
- Executing a PPA with Santa Rosa Energy Center LLC for capacity and energy from a natural gas-fired combined cycle unit located in Florida;
- Pursuing potential acquisition of an additional ownership interest in an existing generating asset within the Southern Company footprint (the exact asset is known to GAM but filed under trade secret protection);
- Expanding the Company’s implementation of battery energy storage systems (“BESS”) by leveraging transmission interconnection resources at existing solar facilities, in particular at U.S. military bases;
- Investing in a new BESS co-located with a new solar facility at a site with existing transmission interconnection facilities;
- Building simple-cycle combustion turbines (“CTs”), located at an existing generation site to leverage infrastructure and operational efficiencies;
- Adding and expanding distributed energy resource (“DER”) and demand response (“DR”) programs; and
- Establishing a framework within which the Company can procure additional capacity as needed ahead of the 2025 IRP filing.
Georgia Power’s filing asserts that the additional revenues and net positive benefits of the new load growth will help offset and balance the costs associated with the investments to serve the growing energy needs.
3. GAM Engagement
GAM is engaging in an in-depth analysis of Georgia Power’s filing. We will be reviewing the Company’s proposals, testing all of their assumptions and developing a set of potential recommendations to inform GAM’s advocacy in the case. With the support of our members, GAM will ensure that the interests of manufacturers are identified and effectively communicated to the Commission, the Company and other parties.
If you are a GAM member, you should have received a more in-depth initial report on the IRP Update filing. If you need a copy of that report, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.