A clean energy portfolio
Economies of scale
As the energy industry evolves, MEAG Power continues to deliver to our Participants – and our Participants in turn deliver to their communities – advantages that matter. A clean energy portfolio, economies of scale and local control create ideal benefits that combine to ensure long-term success for our hometown communities.
And that is what matters most.
A Clean Energy Portfolio
One of the key challenges in today’s energy marketplace is the industry-wide movement toward ever-cleaner supply. Policymakers are focused on setting more stringent emissions standards. Corporations are increasingly moving toward zero-carbon footprints. And asset managers are placing sustainability at the center of their business investment decisions.
Because MEAG Power embraced a move toward emissions-free generation more than a decade ago, we are already in an extremely favorable position and lead the Georgia energy marketplace.
Our delivered energy portfolio has been more than 50% emissions-free since 2008. In 2019, we delivered 67% carbon-free energy, making ours one of the cleanest power portfolios in the Southeast. Now, we are poised to enhance that already favorable position.
And as we look to make portfolio adjustments to increase our already high percentage of emissions-free generation, we do so in close consultation with our Participants about their needs, and only in ways that make economic sense.
In 2019 we began the process of evaluating the addition of solar power to our resource portfolio. A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) has the potential to move the needle higher on our emissions-free percentage.
The timing is advantageous to complete what we expect will be a 15- or 20-year solar PPA. Solar generation capital costs have declined 70% since 2008, and the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit remains at a significantly high percentage through 2021, making solar a much more cost-efficient option for our Participants than in past years.
Moreover, the capacity of Georgia solar installations since 2008 has increased from 3 MW to 1600 MW, and capacity factors of utility-scale systems have doubled, so competitive pricing is more prevalent. We are focused on achieving the benefits of these economies through fixed unit-cost, utility-scale pricing.
The addition of solar to our portfolio will give Participants the ability to provide economical renewable energy to customers in the years ahead. This is especially important in helping Participant communities meet the needs of their commercial and industrial customers whose environmental goals call for them to earn renewable energy certificates (RECs) to certify their renewable commitments.
Both new, and renewing, nuclear options will further boost our clean energy percentage in the coming years, as well. In 2021, when Plant Vogtle Unit 3 comes online, our portfolio’s emissions-free percentage will increase further. And in 2022, when Vogtle Unit 4 is complete, we expect our clean generation percentage to rise to near 70%, taking advantage of the 169.5 MW Project M output of the units. In 2041 and 2042, the 330.8 MWs of Project J and Project P output from Vogtle Units 3&4 will become available and will provide a further increase in our clean generation percentage.
Percent of Carbon-Free
South Atlantic Region*
- *2018 data
- **2019 data
- Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Yet another example of MEAG Power’s forward-thinking approach to non-emitting wholesale generation entails the potential filing, along with the co-owners in the units, of what is termed a subsequent license renewal (SLR) to extend the operating licenses of our two Plant Hatch and our Vogtle 1&2 nuclear units. The SLR would extend the license for the units from 60 to 80 years of operation. This license extension would allow operation of Hatch Unit 1 from 2034 to 2054, and Hatch Unit 2 from 2038 to 2058. The license extension for Vogtle Unit 1 would allow operation from 2047 to 2067 and for Vogtle Unit 2 from 2049 to 2069. Together, these license extensions would preserve 800 MW of non-emitting resources for the system, should the extensions be granted, and provide the potential for our clean generation portfolio to comprise 98% of the supply to our Participants by 2050.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has recently approved 20-year SLRs for two facilities that provided the needed information to support a filing: Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point units 3 and 4, and Exelon’s Peach Bottom units 2 and 3. Additionally, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy together have current and planned SLR applications for 14 nuclear plants.
MEAG Power’s Delivered Wholesale Energy:
Projected to be 98% Emissions-Free by 2044
And as technologies advance, and the Georgia economy continues to grow, we will evaluate further opportunities to expand MEAG Power’s diverse and clean energy portfolio.
In order to evaluate options for further enhancement to our resource portfolio, an updated Integrated Resource Plan is underway. This evaluation will address the economics of other resources in the portfolio, such as the Wansley coal units, and outline recommendations for optimizing our generation portfolio, as well as our members’ portfolios, based on a national perspective and market forecasts. These recommendations, along with our Participants’ input, will help us refine our ongoing strategic and resource planning.
Through a number of different approaches — and with our Participants’ needs at the nexus of our decision-making — our wholesale power generation is evolving in a way that optimally positions MEAG Power for the future.
I believe MEAG Power is adding solar at just the right time – pricing has come down considerably. Being able to add a solar option at utility-scale cost will be attractive to our customers.
Mayor David Eady
Installed Cost of Utility Scale Solar
Per Watt DC (inflation-adjusted dollars; one-axis tracker)
*Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory