Bioenergy, Hydropower

Green Power Energizes Georgia’s EMCs

Georgia’s renewable energy program, Green Power EMC, offers green energy to approximately 1.2 million households. It recently added 11 new electric membership cooperatives (EMCs).

“We’re delighted these cooperatives made the decision to join the renewable energy effort,” said Green Power EMC President Michael Whiteside. “They felt strongly their cooperatives should offer consumer-members the choice to support environmentally friendly sources of energy.” Green Power EMC has generated more than 50 million kWh of electricity from landfill gas, Georgia’s most abundant and economical renewable resource, at two sites that began operating in October 2003. Originally a joint effort of 17 Georgia cooperatives to contract for electricity generated by renewable resources, like biomass, solar and low-impact hydro, Green Power EMC is exploring other renewable resources to include in its generating capacity. It recently added a low impact hydroelectric generating plant. Another landfill facility generates 1 MW of power to the statewide electric grid, along with 4 MW of electricity generated at a landfill near Columbus. Customers signing up for green power pay an additional charge each month ranging from $3 to $5 per 150 kWh block, depending upon the participating EMC. In the future, more than 200,000 additional households will have the choice of purchasing “green” energy from new Green Power EMC members. Collectively, the customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to four million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area.