ATLANTA, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power announced today that it has added 53.5 megawatts (MW) of new biomass capacity to the company's generation portfolio. The addition of the biomass capacity is made possible through a 20-year purchase power agreement (PPA) with Rollcast Energy, Inc., under which Georgia Power will receive all generation output of the newly completed Piedmont Green Power plant, located in Barnesville, Ga. The plant, which began commercial operation on April 19 after two years of construction, will provide enough electricity to power more than 35,000 homes.
"We continue to implement a strategy that diversifies our generation portfolio through renewable sources that are cost-effective for our customers," said Paul Bowers, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "Our customers want safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy, and that's a commitment we will keep."
The biomass generation process at Piedmont Green Power will create energy by utilizing forestry byproducts found in places such as logging areas and land clearings – materials that would otherwise end up in landfills or be left to decompose naturally. The plant will process 500,000 tons of woody biomass annually, 100 percent of which will come from areas around the plant. The owner will retain all Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).
Georgia Power continues to pursue economic opportunities to grow its renewable portfolio and the addition of the biomass generation from Piedmont Green Power complements existing renewable resources that are currently in place. Most recently, the company announced plans to purchase energy from two wind farms in Oklahoma with capacity totaling 250 MW. Earlier this year, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI), which will contract for up to 210 MW of solar capacity through long-term purchase power agreements with Georgia Power customers and solar developers, likely creating the largest voluntarily developed solar portfolio from an investor-owned utility. The GPASI complements the company's existing solar resources, which include leading-edge research and demonstration projects and a 50-MW Large Scale Solar program already in place.
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.
SOURCE Georgia Power