Georgia Power asks for approval to own and operate 1GW of battery storage in IRP
Georgia Power has filed its 2022 integrated resource plan (IRP), highlighting the decreasing economic viability of it coal and seeking to add resources including renewables, gas and battery storage.
The US utility — a subsidiary of integrated energy and communications utility group Southern Company — files its IRPs with the Georgia Public Service Commission (Georgia PSC) every three years, outlining its long-term generation and transmission infrastructure investment plans over an intended 20-year timeframe.
Georgia Power wants to retire 12 coal-fired generating units by 2028, totalling more than 3,500MW of capacity, leaving just two online which would then by retired by 2035. Coal power is continuing to become less economically viable, the company said, seeking approval from the Commission to begin retirements this year.
That capacity would largely be replaced by a mix of natural gas and renewable energy, including 2,356MW of natural gas power purchase agreements (PPA) to be signed over the next six years and the addition of 6,000MW of new renewables by 2035, roughly doubling its current capacity to about 11.5GW by that time.
An initial 2,300MW of that renewable capacity would be covered by proposals made in the current IRP, with further investments to come later. That includes renewable energy credit (REC) purchases.
In its previous IRP, filed in 2019, the utility had requested approval to build, own and operate 80MW of battery energy storage systems (BESS).
The first 65MW/260MWh project in that portfolio got its PSC approval last year and Georgia Power contracted technology provider Wärtsilä for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) duties.
Also included in that IRP was a procurement for utility-scale renewable energy projects over 3MW in capacity, including standalone renewables as well as hybrid renewables-plus-storage plants.
The company issued a 1GW draft request for proposals (RfP) for those in November, with bidding expected to open during this quarter. At that time the company said it had about 2.5GW of renewables capacity and expected a further 2.5GW to come online by 2024.