Energy projects will enable a more resilient and reliable electric grid, benefiting millions of rural Georgia consumers
Locust Grove, GA /PRNewswire/ - Today the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) and application partners Oglethorpe Power, Georgia Transmission, Georgia System Operations and Green Power EMC joined the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm to announce that the partners have been selected as a grant recipient in the DOE's Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program.
The DOE's Grid Deployment Office is administering the GRIP Program, established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to enhance grid flexibility, improve the resilience of the power system and ensure American communities have access to affordable, reliable and clean electricity when and where they need it.
Oglethorpe Power, Georgia Transmission and Georgia System Operations serve 38 not-for-profit electric membership corporations (EMCs) across Georgia who provide retail electric service to more than 4.4 million residents. Together, these cooperatives generate power, transmit and distribute electricity across Georgia's electric grid and monitor and manage the operation of the system. Green Power EMC serves the same 38 EMCs and sources renewable generation for the cooperative energy portfolio.
In its grant application, GEFA and its partners proposed grid projects that would benefit rural, underserved communities across Georgia. The projects aim to improve grid resilience and clean energy development in Georgia, with an estimated investment of approximately $507 million, of which approximately $250 million will be funded by the GRIP Program. The projects include investments in battery storage, local microgrids and grid reliability, while implementing new transmission lines to link communities and advanced grid control systems to improve system resilience. The projects will directly benefit millions of rural consumers who reside in disadvantaged communities served by Georgia's electric cooperatives. GEFA will collaborate with key stakeholders and partners to execute the smart grid infrastructure upgrades.
"Georgia's continued growth and prosperity depends on reliable and affordable energy. As the State Energy Office, we are committed to doing our part to help make that happen. This public-private partnership will help build a resilient energy future for Georgia," said GEFA Executive Director Hunter Hill.
"Oglethorpe Power proposed three 25-megawatt utility-scale batteries in this grant application, subject to customary approvals. As we navigate the clean energy transition while simultaneously responding to increased electricity demands, we expect this energy storage project to enhance grid resiliency and enable the deployment of increased intermittent emission-free energy on Georgia's electric grid," said Oglethorpe Power President & CEO Mike Smith.
"Georgia's EMCs lead the nation among electric cooperatives for utility-scale solar deployment, and this grant will help us continue to meet our members' high expectations for reliability, while accommodating the growing renewable energy demands of Georgia's homes and businesses," said Green Power EMC President Jeff Pratt.
In addition to improved access to clean energy sources, the partners' initiative is expected to lower energy bills through energy efficiency measures, particularly for low-income households and disadvantaged communities.
"As an electric cooperative focused on transmission, we play an important role in providing reliable electric service to rural communities across our state," said Georgia Transmission President & CEO Barbara Hampton. "As the energy landscape continues to evolve and our reliance on electricity increases, Georgia Transmission will use the funding provided by this grant to increase reliability and resiliency through advanced microgrid technology and infrastructure upgrades."
The projects are expected to create more than 140 construction jobs, providing skills training in the clean energy sector. Existing career and technical education pathways will be leveraged to recruit and train labor for long-term work in disadvantaged communities.
"Our participation in the GRIP grant will profoundly enhance the tools and technologies used to operate the electric grid in Georgia," said Georgia System Operations Corporation President & CEO Gregory S. Ford. "The focus of these enhancements will enable the corporation to better support the transition to renewable energy and integrate the projects funded by this grant into our day-to-day operations," he added.
About Georgia Environmental Finance Authority
The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), headquartered in Atlanta, provides financing for a variety of energy, land, and water projects. Since 1985, GEFA has approved financial commitments totaling $5.5 billion to local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit gefa.georgia.gov, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube.
About Oglethorpe Power
Oglethorpe Power is among the nation's largest power supply cooperatives and is one of the largest energy producers in Georgia. With more than $16 billion in assets, Oglethorpe Power owns and operates a diverse portfolio of resources to provide reliable, affordable, safe and environmentally responsible energy to 38 consumer-owned, not-for-profit Electric Membership Cooperatives (EMCs) who provide retail electricity to approximately 4.4 million Georgians. Through its investment in nuclear, natural gas, hydro and coal resources, Oglethorpe Power's generation fleet has a combined capacity of more than 8,500 megawatts. For more information, visit www.opc.com.
About Georgia Transmission
Georgia Transmission Corp., a not-for-profit cooperative owned by 38 Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs), owns more than 4,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and more than 770 substations. These facilities deliver power to Georgia's EMCs, providing electricity to more than 4.4 million Georgians. For more information, visit gatransmission.com.
About Georgia System Operations
Georgia System Operations Corporation is a not-for-profit corporation owned by 38 Georgia electric membership corporations, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, and Georgia Transmission Corporation. GSOC delivers safe, reliable, and economic power by controlling and monitoring electric generation, transmission, and distribution assets owned by OPC, GTC, Smarr EMC, the Members, and their power supply partners. Operating within the Southeastern reliability subregion of the SERC Reliability Corporation, GSOC complies with all applicable North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reliability standards. GSOC also manages the critical infrastructure protection (CIP) program for GTC and itself.
About Green Power EMC
Green Power EMC is a not-for-profit cooperative founded in 2001 to support 38 of Georgia's electric cooperatives in their search for renewable resources. The primary efforts of Green Power EMC have been to find, screen, analyze, and negotiate power purchase agreements with Georgia-based renewable resource providers. In addition to sourcing renewable energy, Green Power EMC provides education programs that help member-consumers learn both the challenges and opportunities of utilizing renewable energy. For more information, visit greenpoweremc.com or follow Green Power EMC on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.