Diversifying Fuel Options
Electricity is not stored. Fuel is converted to electrical energy as needed from minute to minute throughout each day. Southern Company subsidiaries maintain adequate fuel supplies, including natural gas, uranium, coal and oil. Renewable energy sources like solar, wind, biomass and hydro are also utilized to ensure reliable and affordable electricity generation. See Generation Sources »
Reliability and Affordability
Generating units fueled by natural gas, uranium and coal may be dispatched at any time. These abundant fuels provide for reliability and represent the greatest share of our generation capacity. To ensure affordability, we deploy a mix of fuels. Price increases for any one type of fuel can be mitigated by deploying alternate fuels.
Due to its low cost and favorable emissions performance, natural gas is currently the most frequently deployed fuel throughout the Southern Company system. We are also working to advance clean coal technologies and to lower emissions associated with the use of coal.
Nuclear power supplies about 16 percent of the Southern Company system's generation. Georgia Power is currently constructing two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle near Augusta, Georgia. More on nuclear power »
The Southern Company system also utilizes solar, wind, biomass, landfill and hydro generation options to produce electricity. Renewable generation is playing an increasing role in our system's generation portfolio as the economics continue to improve. We have added or announced some 3,800 megawatts of renewable generation capacity since 2012.
In addition to the growing renewable portfolios of our traditional operating companies, wholesale subsidiary Southern Power has more than 1,900 megawatts of renewable generating capacity ownership either in operation or under development nationwide.
To meet anticipated demand, the Southern Company system projects, commits and builds or contracts for generation capacity. For 2016, approximately 12 percent of system capacity will be provided under contract by independent power producers. Other generation sources are provided by Southern Company subsidiaries.