After two adjustments to Georgia Power’s 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) unanimously agreed to raise Georgia Power’s renewable energy procurement to 2,210 MW.
With an original recommendation of 1,000 MW of renewable energy additions, Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power is now raising its renewable capacity by more than 72% to a possible 5,390 MW by 2024.
The procurement agreement would be the largest increase in renewable energy in Georgia’s history. The first increase changed the original recommendation to 1,650 MW, after a stipulation agreement with Commission members.
However, during a hearing with the PSC, Chairman Lauren McDonald made a motion to increase renewable energy procurement to 2,210 MW, which the PSC unanimously agreed upon.
“I determined Georgia has the ability to add significantly more renewable energy and solar energy using a market-based approach without any upward pressure on the rate payers and no state subsidies,” McDonald said. “Solar, combined with nuclear power when Vogtle 3 and 4 go online, will give Georgians clean, reliable energy for years to come.”
As of 2018, 46% of Georgia Power’s energy mix came from oil and natural gas, at almost 6,298 MW. Its largest combined-cycle natural gas unit, Plant McDonough-Atkinson, has a total capacity of about 2,520 MW with its three units.
The rest of Georgia Power’s energy mix consisted of 25% coal, 22% nuclear, 3% renewables, 2% hydro, and 2% from other resources.
Vogtle 3 and 4 are the first nuclear plants to be built in the United States in three decades. Both are expected to have 1,117 MW of combined energy capacity, and a total projected cost of $7.3 billion. The first unit (Vogtle 3) has a target in-service date of November 2021. Vogtle 4 is expected to come online one year later.
Georgia Power is also planning to retire five coal-fired units. Four are located at Plant Hammond near Rome, GA, and one at Plant McIntosh near Rincon, GA. This could bring Georgia Power’s coal-fired generation capacity to about half of what it was in 2005.