“We are seeing more and more companies across all industries requiring states to provide solutions to meet corporate sustainability goals. This includes a significant source of energy that is renewable and LEED certified buildings. Georgia’s position in this is vital to our success in economic development."
Now more than ever companies desire to invest in clean and sustainable energy options. A record amount of clean energy – 13.4 gigawatts – was secured by corporations last year with more than half of the activity occurring in the United States.
To put this amount of energy into perspective, 13.4 gigawatts powers approximately 9.1 million homes. It’s also equivalent to 41.9 million solar panels, 5,800 wind turbines, or 122,000 Nissan Leafs. That’s a lot of Leafs.
While cities across the globe have made notable sustainability pledges, including Atlanta which promised 100 percent clean energy by 2035, companies in an array of industries have also publicly committed to clean energy usage and a greener future – from VMware to Starbucks and Wells Fargo. Many of these companies have commercial, office, and industrial space in Georgia. Even sports stadiums like Mercedes Benz Stadium (its LEED Platinum status will allow it to reduce energy and water use by 30 and 50 percent, respectively) and convention centers like the Georgia World Congress Center (the largest LEED certified convention center in the world) are on board.
This trend is not absent from the economic development space – and it’s not just energy-intensive users interested in a cleaner and greener future. Companies with smaller footprints are looking to invest in clean energy as well.
“We are seeing more and more companies across all industries requiring states to provide solutions to meet corporate sustainability goals. This includes a significant source of energy that is renewable and LEED certified buildings. Georgia’s position in this is vital to our success in economic development,” said Jennifer Zeller, Strategic Solutions Manager here at Georgia Power.
Five years ago, an industrial client would inquire about the per kilowatt hour cost of electricity to power their facility. Today, prospects – from office tenants to manufacturers – are increasingly asking about sustainability programs and energy alternatives.
Even in my short time in economic development, I have noticed an uptick in clients’ rhetoric on sustainability in their initial Requests for Information (RFI). Case-in-point: Amazon’s HQ2 RFP.
And we are responding – quite literally as we demonstrate the state’s ability to support companies in reaching their sustainability goals. Georgia Power is a leader in renewable energy and is continuing to diversify its energy portfolio to satisfy changing customer preferences.
In 2007, hydro and renewables comprised less than six percent of Georgia Power’s portfolio; now, the two are expected to account for 18 percent by 2023. With nearly 1,500 megawatts of renewable capacity online, Georgia Power continues to grow the largest voluntary renewable portfolio in the nation.
In many ways we are returning to our roots – Georgia Power Company began as a clean energy company.
“We were all hydro except for a small steam plant across the street from the World Congress Center (Davis Street Station),” said Steve Foster, Resident Historian and Metro West Community Development Manager. “It wasn’t until the drought of 1926, which reduced the flow to our North Georgia Hydro facility and impacted our ability to serve our customers, that we built Plant McDonough.”
As a company, Georgia Power is committed to implementing our own sustainable practices, while connecting you and your company to the tools and resources necessary to satisfy your energy and environmental goals.
Learn more about Georgia Power's Clean Energy offerings here.