Georgia Power is getting closer to launching its first foray into a revolutionary new source of energy generation.

The state Public Service Commission (PSC) next week will consider a proposed demonstration project to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of generating power through battery storage.

Georgia Power plans to build a battery storage system near an existing substation in west-central Georgia’s Talbot County that will generate 65 megawatts of electricity. One megawatt produces enough energy to power 650 average homes.

The Mossy Branch Battery Facility is the largest of three battery storage projects the Atlanta-based utility is planning with 80 megawatts of power the PSC authorized two years ago. Battery storage is the most forward-looking component of the latest 20-year energy production plan Georgia Power filed with the commission in 2019.

“We believe the Mossy Branch project will provide a significant opportunity to evaluate in real-time in a real-world environment the commercial and operational performance of a standalone grid-charging storage asset,” Brandon Marzo, a lawyer representing Georgia Power, told the commission’s Energy Committee Thursday. “That really is the benefit of doing this project.”

Battery storage is the latest in an otherwise familiar array of sources Georgia Power uses to generate energy. The technology promises to play a role in helping the utility reduce its reliance on coal as it increases its use of natural gas, nuclear and renewable power.

Georgia Power has not revealed how much the demonstration project will cost. That information was redacted from a filing the utility submitted to the PSC in July.

If the commission signs off on the project next week, the battery storage facility is expected to go into commercial operation in two years.

Dave Williams writes for Capitol Beat News Service


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