Georgia Power filed an update to its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to request additional generation resources in the face of mounting projected energy needs for the state.

The utility said the state is experiencing robust economic growth due to an influx of new businesses including manufacturers, the ET industry, data centers, and others. Many of these customers’ projects are larger than historical norms, Georgia Power said, with some individual projects exceeding 1,000 MW.

Georgia Power said its energy projections for the state now reflect energy growth of approximately 6,600 MW through 2030, up from approximately 400 MW previously forecasted in January 2022. For perspective, the utility said its current load growth projections are 17 times higher than what it forecasted in the 2022 IRP.

The utility’s ask in its updated IRP include constructing new conventional plants and procuring power from existing ones, along with the expansion of renewable energy resources, battery energy storage systems (BESS) and new and expanded distributed energy resources (DER).

Additionally, the company is seeking approval of the transmission infrastructure necessary to support these new generation resources to help ensure the continued reliability and resiliency of Georgia’s electric system. Specifically, the filing includes the following requests:

Based on the company’s energy expansion plan in the 2023 IRP Update, the company anticipates adding a total of approximately 10,000 MW of new renewable resources by 2035, which is nearly double the 6,000 MW projected in the 2022 IRP. Notably, the company’s continued expansion of BESS and DER resources, such as those proposed in the 2023 IRP Update, are essential to ensuring that the grid remains reliable and resilient while the company continues adding renewable resources.

2022 IRP programs

Georgia Power continues to implement the programs approved in the 2022 IRP and is in the process of procuring new renewable energy through requests for proposal (RFP) processes, including distributed generation and utility-scale generation resources. In 2024, the company plans to issue a 500 MW energy storage system RFP, with resources anticipated to be online by the end of 2028, as well as an “all-source” RFP to address capacity needs for the 2029 through 2031 period.

In the 2022 IRP, the Georgia PSC provisionally authorized Georgia Power to develop, own, and operate the 265 MW McGrau Ford BESS project. The company continues to pursue the development of this facility and plans to seek final approval from the Georgia PSC by the end of 2024, with commercial operation of the facility projected by the end of 2026.

In addition to new generation resources, the 2022 IRP also included multiple customer programs designed to promote reliability and resiliency, such as the DER Customer Program. The DER Customer Program enables participating customers to subscribe to a resiliency service provided by company-owned, operated, and maintained DER.

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