Energy Innovation

Forecasting Growth

We focus on providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity. Integral to this mission is knowledge of our market and the demand for electricity. We forecast economic growth to ensure that we have the generation and transmission equipment and skilled employees needed to provide reliable and affordable electricity in our southeastern U.S. markets.

This section details how we will meet forecasts through diversifying fuel options, Renewable Resources, championing energy efficiency and new nuclear plants.

A key performance indicator for previous performance in meeting forecasts is equivalent forced outage rate. This rate indicates the likelihood of forced outages. For peak season, we rank in the top quartile, well above industry averages, and have led our industry peers for eight of the last ten years. See Equivalent Forced Outage Rate »

  • Generation — Over the next three years, Southern Company's traditional operating companies plan to add 2,800 megawatts of capacity, 500 megawatts of which is 21st century clean coal. The remaining capacity includes capacity procured, or planned to be procured, from 1,000 megawatts of natural gas resources and output sourced from 1,300 megawatts of biomass, solar and wind resources. The companies also plan to add 1,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity by 2019. These capacity additions represent Southern's commitment to invest in long-term fuel diversity through 21st century clean coal and nuclear, and through procuring additional capacity from a diverse set of resources. Further, Southern's wholesale subsidiary, Southern Power, has added or announced over 300 megawatts of capacity from solar and biomass resources and over 700 megawatts of natural gas capacity since 2010. In all, Southern Company expects to have added enough capacity to power over one million homes by 2018.
  • Transmission and Distribution — Since 2000, we have invested approximately $14 billion to upgrade and expand our transmission and distribution infrastructure. Over the next three years, we plan to invest more than $4.0 billion to help ensure that we maintain our high level of reliability and keep electricity flowing to the increasing number of customers in our region.

Legislative and Regulatory Participation

Forecasting and planning go hand in hand with participation in the legislative and regulatory process, especially related to proposed laws or rules that impact our customers and shareholders. In addition to working with state and local legislators and policy-makers, we maintain an office and staff in Washington, D.C., to interact with Congress and with agencies including:

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Defense
  • Environmental Protection Agency

We use outside firms to assist our efforts and support coalitions and trade organizations that engage in lobbying activities. Expenses associated with operating our Washington office in 2013 were about $12.85 million. We also participate in the regulatory process through industry groups and committees to communicate our positions. These groups and committees include the Utility Air Regulatory Group, the Utility Water Act Group, the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group and Edison Electric Institute.

Political contributions to organizations can be found in the political contribution report.

Southern Company sponsors political action committees that make contributions to candidates for public office using funds voluntarily donated by employees. This money is contributed to candidates of various parties, other political action committees and political organizations such as the Republican and Democratic national committees. Information on Political Action Committee federal contributions is publicly available through the Federal Elections Commission at www.fec.gov.

More on...

Diversifying Fuel Options | Renewable Resources | Championing Energy Efficiency | New Nuclear | NOx and SO2 | Mercury | Greenhouse Gases | TRI | Water | Solids | Environmental Performance | GRI Index plus Keywords