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Atlanta-based utility Georgia Power has filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), a 20-year strategy designed to help meet electricity needs. Included in the IRP are load and energy forecasts; an analysis of currently available generation technologies; and an economic assessment of potential and proposed energy efficiency and demand response - also known as demand-side management (DSM) - programs.

As part of the filing, Georgia Power is requesting to decertify and retire 15 coal- and oil-fired generating units totaling 2,061 MW. The company, which currently has 1.88 GW of hydro generation, 63 MW of solar generation and 142 MW of biomass generation in service or under contract, also says it expects to have more than 1.5 GW of renewable generation available to serve customers by the end of 2016.

With the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI), the utility says it continues to obtain an increasing amount of solar resources, as declining technology prices have made them more cost competitive. GPASI builds on the solar resources already added to the portfolio by the company through the Large Scale Solar program and the Green Energy program. After all resources are added through the GPASI, the company expects to have 270 MW of solar capacity under contract in Georgia.

The company's current DSM portfolio consists of demand response programs, energy efficiency programs, pricing tariffs and other activities. Georgia Power projects that by 2016, these programs will reduce peak demand by approximately 2 GW. In addition, the company plans to expand the DSM portfolio in 2013 by certifying a Small Commercial program and enhancing existing programs.

"We are committed to meeting the energy demands of our customers in the most reliable and affordable way possible," says John Pemberton, Georgia Power senior vice president of generation and senior production officer. "The IRP process ensures we keep that commitment as we undergo a historic transition to our generating fleet, which includes natural gas, 21st-century coal, new nuclear, renewables and energy efficiency."

Georgia Power is required to file an IRP every three years, and the PSC is expected to vote on the company's newest IRP request this summer.

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