Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC) - Established in 1975 to provide electricity to 39 of the 42 EMCs in Georgia. Since the National Energy Act of 1992, OPC's directors have voted to restructure in order to allow Ocmulgee and other member EMSs to purchase some power from other suppliers. In preparation for deregulation, OPC has divided into three specialized companies, OPC, Georgia System Operations Corporation (GSOC), and Georgia Transmission Corporation (GTC). OPC operates primarily as a power generating company. GSOC and GTC are subsidiaries of OPC. Oglethorpe Power Corporation is located in Tucker, Georgia.
Prior to 1975, 39 of the 42 electric cooperatives in Georgia, including Ocmulgee, were purchasing 80% of their wholesale power from Georgia Power Company, with the other 20% being supplied by federal hydroelectric generating facilities located in state. Georgia Power Company was unable to guarantee the future wholesale power requirements of the co-ops at a price they could afford to pay. Ocmulgee and 38 other EMCs, in response, formed Oglethorpe Power Corporation, a generation and transmission cooperative, in 1975.
Today, OPC, shares ownership of modern generating plants and the statewide network of high voltage transmission lines with Georgia Power Company, the City of Dalton and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia. This ensures that current and future Ocmulgee customers have reliable, economical sources of electric power.
OPC's primary mission is to provide the power necessary to meet the needs of the 39 co-op member systems. To be successful, the corporation makes use of a diverse portfolio of power resources, including fossil, nuclear, coal and hydro facilities, as well as long-term and short-term contracts. Due to continued growth within the member systems' service territories, OPC also has an active power plant construction program.
Today, OPC and the member systems, including Ocmulgee, have a power mix that provides diversity, flexibility and long-term capacity. OPC supplies energy to the member systems from 3,335 megawatts (MW) of owned or leased generating capacity and secures the remainder from a variety of other sources. Therefore, future costs have limited exposure to factors like fuel availability, prices, and changes in legislation.
OPC is the nation's largest generation and transmission cooperative in terms of assets, kilowatt-hour sales, and ultimate customers served. Through OPC, Ocmulgee receives its electricity from eight generating facilities in Georgia:
- Plant Alvin W. Vogtle is a two-unit, 2,320 MW nuclear facility located in Burke County near Waynesboro, Georgia. OPC has a 30 percent ownership in the plant, which is operated by Southern Nuclear Operating Company, a subsidiary of the Southern Company.
- Rocky Mountain is a three-unit, 848 MW pumped storage hydroelectric plant located in Floyd County near Rome, Georgia. OPC has a 75 percent ownership in the plant (Georgia Power owns 25 percent), and also serves as plant operator.
- Plant Hal B. Wansley is a two-unit, 1,779 MW, coal-fired generating facility located in Heard County near Carrollton, Georgia. OPC has 30 percent ownership in the plant, which is operated by Georgia Power Company.
- Plant Robert W. Scherer is a four-unit, 3,520 MW coal-fired generating facility located in Monroe County near Forsyth, Georgia. OPC owns or leases 60 percent of Units 1 and 2 of the plant, which is operated by Georgia Power Company.
- Plant Edwin I. Hatch is a two-unit, 1,720 MW nuclear facility located in Appling County near Baxley, Georgia. OPC has a 30 percent ownership in the plant, which is operated by Southern Nuclear Operating Company, a subsidiary of the Southern Company.
- Harrison Dam is a two unit, 2.1 MW hydroelectric facility located in Clarke County near Athens, Georgia. OPC owns 100 percent of the plant and serves as plant operator.
- Smarr Energy Facility is a two-unit, 217 MW gas-fired combustion turbine facility located in Monroe County near Forsyth, Georgia. They run primarily during high demand periods, especially on hot summer days. Smarr EMC owns the facility, which is operated by OPC.
- Sewell Creek Energy Facility is a four-unit, 492 MW gas-fired combustion turbine facility located in Polk County near Cedartown, Georgia. Smarr EMC owns the facility, which is operated by OPC.
Because of continued strong growth in the demand for electricity, Oglethorpe Power is in the process of constructing both a simple cycle and a combined cycle combustion turbine project. These facilities are being built on behalf of a group of participating Member Systems, and are scheduled to become operational in 2002 and 2003.
- Talbot Energy Facility - OPC is constructing an
approximately $280 million, natural gas-powered energy generating facility
in southwest Talbot County, Georgia to help supply electricity to
participating Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) across the state.
The first four units of this six-unit facility became commercially operational in May and early June 2002. The final two units are due for commercial operation by the summer of 2003.
The Talbot facility will use clean-burning natural gas and the latest in generating technology to ensure clean, efficient operation and minimal impacts. Electricity from the facility will go into the statewide transmission grid to help meet the fast growing need for electricity by EMC customers throughout the state.
- Chattahoochee Energy Facility - OPC is constructing a
$290 million combined cycle energy facility on the grounds of the Hal B.
Wansley coal-fired plant in Heard County. The facility is scheduled for
commercial operation in the spring of 2003. The OPC facility is one of four
new combined cycle facilities scheduled for construction at the site.
Georgia Power Company will build and own two of the facilities, and the
Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia will own the fourth.
The OPC combined cycle facility will use clean-burning natural gas and the latest in generating technology to ensure clean, efficient operation and minimal impacts. Electricity from the facility will go into the statewide transmission grid to help meet the fast growing need for electricity by EMC customers throughout the state.