power line

Georgia EMCs received a federal grant for electric grid and clean energy projects.

Credit: Capitol Beat News Service

ATLANTA – Georgia’s electric membership corporations (EMCs) received a $250 million federal grant Wednesday for a series of grid improvement and clean energy projects.

The award to Oglethorpe Power, Georgia Transmission, Georgia System Operations, and Green Power EMC will go toward an estimated investment of $507 million and is part of a $3.5 billion nationwide investment U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced Wednesday at a ceremony in Locust Grove.

“Extreme weather events fueled by climate change will continue to strain the nation’s aging transmission systems, but President Biden’s Investing in America agenda will ensure America’s power grid can provide reliable, affordable power,” Granholm said. 

“Today’s announcement represents the largest-ever direct investment in critical grid infrastructure, supporting projects that will harden systems, improve energy reliability and affordability — all while generating union jobs for highly skilled workers.”  

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), which partnered with the EMCs in the grant application, is planning grid projects to benefit rural, underserved communities across Georgia. 

The projects include investments in battery storage, local microgrids and grid reliability, as well as new transmission lines to link communities and advanced grid control systems to improve system resilience. 

“Georgia’s continued growth and prosperity depends on reliable and affordable energy,” GEFA Executive Director Hunter Hill said Wednesday. “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.”

Oglethorpe Power, Georgia Transmission and Georgia System Operations serve 38 not-for-profit EMCs across Georgia that 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 operation of the system. 

Green Power EMC serves the same 38 EMCs and sources renewable generation for the cooperative energy portfolio.

Wednesday’s ceremony officially launched the federal Grid Resilience and Innovative Partnerships (GRIP) program, which is being funded through the bipartisan infrastructure bill Congress passed two years ago. It will include 58 projects in 44 states.

This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Capitol Beat News Service