The role women can play in the transformation of the energy sector

When I joined the energy sector over 35 years ago, researching into how internationally traded coal burnt in power stations, most people, when they found out what I did, asked me “why do you want to do that?” and some blatantly added “surely that’s a bloke’s job and not for pretty blond women like you”. A kind of back-handed compliment? There were less than 2% women working in the sector, in areas that were directly involved in the production of energy

Spotlight

OPAL Fuels Inc

OPAL Fuels Inc. is a leading vertically integrated renewable fuels platform involved in the production and distribution of renewable natural gas (RNG) for the heavy-duty truck market. RNG is a proven low-carbon fuel that is rapidly decarbonizing the transportation industry now while also significantly reducing costs for fleet owners.

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Energy, Industry Updates

Why Picking an Established and Credible Solar Installer Matters

Article | July 29, 2022

With the popularity of solar increasing across the country, the number of solar installers has been multiplying. Unfortunately, many fly-by-night companies with minimal installation experience or larger national firms with little market history are trying to capitalize on the industry’s growth. In addition, the sheer volume of installation partners that consumers have to choose from can result in a great deal of buyer confusion. More choices, more issues As the number of solar installers has gone up, so have complaints and issues related to providers and their service. Recently, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry reached terms with Empire Solar Group LLC’s trustees, a national solar installer that went bankrupt earlier this year, leaving 45 homeowners in Minnesota with projects in various levels of incompletion. Unfortunately, they’re not alone, as many other consumers have also fallen into precarious situations after companies using high-pressure sales tactics have been unable to deliver on the work. Michael Allen, CEO of All Energy Solar, says, “He’s angered that companies go out of business and face no fines.” Allen and other established industry leaders have done their best to help out customers caught in the middle of an installer’s bankruptcy issues, but there is only so much they can do. What protections do consumers have? In some cases, states have put into place protections for consumers; for example, in Minnesota, consumers stranded with uncompleted projects can get access to the state’s Contractor Recovery Fund, which receives money from licensing fees to help offset these costs. But that is of little comfort for those trying to determine what partner to choose for their project. The best bet When picking a solar installation partner, your best bet is to avoid those with high-pressure sales tactics, “too-good-to-be-true” pricing, or ones with little to no installation experience. Don’t simply trust the sales rep, do a little of your own research to see what other customers are saying. Looking for a record of successfully completed projects and businesses with state and national certifications can be another way to confirm credibility.

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Sustainability

AI in the Renewable Energy Sector: Investment Perspective

Article | July 7, 2023

As the worldwide use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the energy market is expected to reach $7.78 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 22.49% from 2019 to 2024, it is easy to see why it's a popular topic on the minds of many leading brands in the energy sector, as well as investors looking to reap the future perks that AI could bring to the energy industry. According to BIS Research, North America is expected to be the largest market for AI in energy through 2024. However, Asia-Pacific is expected to rise rapidly over the same time due to the rising need for more decentralized power production. Investment Opportunities in AI-based Energy Industry: Economic Visibility AI's economic viability and progress in the energy business can be attributed to numerous factors, including: The desire to increase operational efficiency. Increased interest in energy efficiency. Decentralized electricity generation is being expanded. Battery storage solutions are gaining popularity. Since artificial intelligence has a wide range of applications, there are several investment opportunities in the energy industry. Upstream Oil and Gas Enhance efficiency and decrease downtime, which is critical for hydrocarbon companies owing to volatile oil prices and demand, to lessen the environmental implications of energy generation and consumption. AI Chatbots AI has the potential to enhance interactions between contact centers and consumers. Utilities that outsource to contact center providers can suffer significant fees. This is where AI, particularly when combined with natural language processing (NLP), can assist contact center operators by listening to conversations and automatically noting information in the appropriate apps, helping operators to make calls more reliable, effective, and satisfying to customers. Smart Homes and Cities AI integration benefits smart meters and smart energy management systems as well. Many residences and towns can utilize AI to collect real-time data and apply it in a number of ways to function more effectively and efficiently, enhancing sustainability while also making a living more comfortable and cities more accessible. Monitoring Trends in Energy Generation and Consumption Artificial intelligence is being utilized to assist energy companies and customers in recognizing and tracking patterns in energy generation and consumption. AI, for example, can predict the potential output of a certain wind or solar plant. Closing Lines Banking, finance, and trade are some of the suitable businesses that can profit. For example, AI and machine learning can be used in algorithmic trading, which involves utilizing computer programs to make trades in the energy business at speeds and frequencies that any human trader would consider inconceivable.

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Solar+Storage

Solar Panel Direction, Orientation and Tilt Factors

Article | June 14, 2022

For anyone who has owned solar panels in the past, or even many considering solar power installation in the near future, it’s generally understood that direction is important in this field. Specifically, the ability of solar panels to point south, where they will receive the maximum possible sunlight and therefore create the maximum amount of energy, is vital for many solar panel installations – but it’s important to realize that the simple direction of the panels is not the only important variable here. At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we’re happy to offer both commercial and residential solar panel installation services, including the utilization of the Tesla Powerwall battery backup. We assist our clients with every part of solar panel installation, including important directional and related themes that will play a role in how much sunlight your panels are able to soak up. Today we’ll focus on some of the important variables here, including why south-facing panels are the optimal approach plus several other basic factors to keep in mind when it comes to maximizing panel positioning and direction.

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Geothermal Energy: How it Works and Stacks Up Against Coal

Article | April 16, 2020

To maintain the goals of the Paris Agreement and save the Earth from ecological breakdown, one of the most important things experts agree we need to do is transition to a renewable energy economy. While most of us may associate renewable energy with wind energy and solar energy, there are several other sources of clean energy that are growing in popularity. One such source is geothermal energy.

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Spotlight

OPAL Fuels Inc

OPAL Fuels Inc. is a leading vertically integrated renewable fuels platform involved in the production and distribution of renewable natural gas (RNG) for the heavy-duty truck market. RNG is a proven low-carbon fuel that is rapidly decarbonizing the transportation industry now while also significantly reducing costs for fleet owners.

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Energy

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Agreement to Supply Federal Facilities in Three Southern States with 100% Carbon Pollution-Free Electricity

PR Newswire | October 26, 2023

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between GSA and Southern Company to develop carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) options for federal facilities in Southern Company's service territories. The MOU documents the intent of GSA and Southern Company to collaborate on development of a roadmap that, when executed, will lead to federal agencies in that region buying more CFE and achieving reliability and resiliency objectives outlined in Executive Order 14057 [lnks.gd]. The Biden-Harris Administration is leading by example to tackle the climate crisis through President Biden's Federal Sustainability Plan, which establishes an ambitious path to achieve 100% CFE for Federal government operations by 2030, including 50% on a 24/7 basis, along with aggressive goals for electric vehicles and net-zero emissions buildings. said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. This is our fourth MOU with a utility company and it's another example of how GSA is leading by example in tackling climate change, using our buying power and real estate footprint to move markets, create demand, drive efficiency, and catalyze efficiency and clean energy innovation. Through smart partnerships with energy service providers, we can help advance sustainability, create jobs, save taxpayer dollars, and ensure a healthier planet for our kids. [Source:PR Newswire] "Today's announcement delivers on President Biden's vision to build a new economy powered by clean energy—one that creates well-/paying jobs for American workers, healthier air for communities, and increases our energy independence," said Andrew Mayock, the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Southern Company has a goal to reach a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, from 2007 emissions levels, and reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Currently, the United States Army is the largest federal customer served by Southern Company. "The Department of Defense and the Army are committed to using carbon-free energy to support our national defense mission," said the Honorable Rachel Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of the United States Army, Installations, Energy and Environment. "Distributed Carbon-free energy generation–when integrated into a modernized grid that includes large-scale storage, upgraded transmission lines, and enhanced cybersecurity controls - is the best way to promote resilience so we can continue to deploy, fight, and win the nation's wars. The Army applauds the GSA-Southern Company agreement. The agreement demonstrates the exact kind of collaboration that is key to improving the reliability and resilience of the commercial grid and achieving our carbon-free energy and readiness goals." "Southern Company recognizes the importance of developing and supplying carbon-free electricity as we continue our efforts toward our goal of reaching net zero by 2050," said Chris Womack, CEO and president of Southern Company. "Through industry-leading innovation and a commitment to a net zero future, we are delivering sustainable and resilient energy solutions that help drive growth and prosperity. This partnership will serve as another important step toward these goals." GSA will continue to engage with Southern Company and other utilities to explore the advancement of potential CFE solutions including solar, battery storage, nuclear power, on-site generation and new sustainable technologies like clean hydrogen.

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Energy

SEW Acquires GridExchange - Transactive Energy Platforms - Pioneering the Future of Clean Energy Transition

Business Wire | October 25, 2023

SEW, a global leader in AI-Powered Connected Customer (CX) and Workforce (WX) Experience Industry Cloud Platforms, announces its acquisition of GridExchange, a cutting-edge Transactive Energy software platform, from Alectra Utilities Corporation. GridExchange empowers energy consumers to transition from passive users to proactive prosumers, leveraging distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar panels, battery storage, and EV (Electric Vehicles). Through a secure and user-friendly Customer Experience (CX), GridExchange facilitates seamless exchanges of energy, driving a reduction in greenhouse gas CO2 emissions, lowering energy costs, and strengthening grid resiliency. stated Deepak Garg, CEO and Founder of SEW. At SEW, we are shaping a clean and sustainable energy future. The acquisition of GridExchange aligns perfectly with our vision and strategy of an intelligent, resilient, and sustainable energy ecosystem. Our journey towards a sustainable future begins with empowering and educating individuals and businesses alike to actively participate in the energy revolution," emphasized Deepak Garg. "By integrating GridExchange into our SEW connected platform, we are not only driving cleaner energy transition and adoption but also revolutionizing the way people and communities engage with their energy consumption. [Source:Business Wire] GridExchange’s web and mobile application allows utilities to engage customers with DERs, optimizing grid operations by managing peak load and maximizing GHG reduction. Customers, in turn, have the flexibility to contribute excess energy or adjust consumption patterns in exchange for financial incentives and loyalty rewards redeemable at local businesses. Brian Bentz, President and CEO of Alectra, emphasized, "Our development of GridExchange, which helped to enable non-wires alternative pilots in our service territory, illustrates our commitment to enabling customers to participate in local energy markets. We are pleased that SEW will now be taking this platform to a global market.” Key benefits of the SEW-GridExchange platform include Empowering Energy Choices: Customers can harness the potential of existing DERs, transforming into proactive contributors to the energy ecosystem. Reducing GHG Emissions: The incentivization of clean energy usage through GridExchange leads to a notable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Enhancing Grid Planning: The platform unlocks and optimizes DER values, increasing grid flexibility and resiliency; and contributes to integrated system planning with non-wires alternatives, reducing or deferring overall energy system costs. Advocating for Policy Change: The initiative motivates regulators to propose standards and policies that pave the way for a cleaner energy future. GridExchange’s innovative application also demonstrates the following objectives Leveraging cutting-edge transactive energy technology to facilitate DER participation in grid services and accurately track energy generation and consumption's GHG impact. Incentivizing customers who own or operate DERsl by providing valuable grid services. Introducing a pioneering customer rewards program, where points earned are redeemable for a range of goods and services from participating merchants. SEW is committed to building a resilient and sustainable energy ecosystem through the integration of advanced technologies like AI, ML, and IoT. With over 1.2 billion users and adoption by 410+ utilities worldwide, SEW is at the forefront of driving the transition towards an intelligent energy future. This landmark acquisition not only signifies a major stride towards sustainable energy, but also underscores SEW's commitment to pioneer a greener future through advanced technology. SEW's mission is to engage, empower, and educate billions of people worldwide to conserve energy and water. Now, with the addition of GridExchange, SEW is poised to take sustainability to new heights. About Alectra Inc. Alectra Inc., through its subsidiary Alectra Utilities Corporation, serves approximately one million homes and businesses across an 1,800 square kilometers service territory comprising 17 communities including Alliston, Aurora, Barrie, Beeton, Brampton, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Guelph, Hamilton, Markham, Mississauga, Penetanguishene, Richmond Hill, Rockwood, St. Catharine’s, Thornton, Tottenham and Vaughan. The Alectra family of companies includes Alectra Inc. (Mississauga), Alectra Utilities Corporation (Hamilton) and Alectra Energy Solutions (Vaughan). About SEW SEW, with its innovative and industry-leading connected cloud platforms, delivers the best Digital Customer Experiences (CX) and Workforce Experiences (WX), powered by AI, ML, and IoT Analytics to the global energy, water, and gas providers. At SEW, the vision is to Engage, Empower, and Educate billions of people to save energy and water. We partner with businesses to deliver platforms that are easy-to-use, integrate seamlessly, and help build a strong technological foundation that allows them to become future ready.

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Transportation

Fort Moore EV charging project provides another example of EVSE solution

PR Newswire | October 23, 2023

Fort Moore and Georgia Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, recently entered into a contract to install 63 electric vehicle chargers at 23 locations across the base, allowing up to 126 vehicles to be plugged in on the base simultaneously. The project is underway and expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2024. Georgia Power was awarded a task order to provide a turnkey electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) solution using the General Services Administration Areawide Contract (AWC). The AWC task order will be used to provide a holistic and scalable EVSE solution to support electrification requirements. The AWC provides a useful contracting vehicle with regulated servicing utility companies. Under this arrangement, federal agencies may order utilities and other services from that supplier. The electric distribution system at Fort Moore is owned and managed by Flint Energies. Georgia Power, in partnership with Flint Energies, will extend the distribution system and add the charging stations necessary to charge the expanded electric vehicle fleet. stated Col. Colin Mahle, Fort Moore Garrison commander. Fort Moore leads the Army in our development and adoption of large-scale EV projects. The Army's goal is for all of our non-tactical vehicles to be EV by 2035. That will take more than just adding electric vehicles to our fleet, it will take additional infrastructure. We intend to achieve our goal of 100 percent EV vehicles early. [Source:PR Newswire] The EV charging project at Fort Moore is an example of better energy use and overall modernization. It also demonstrates Southern Company's commitment to supporting the resiliency, net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and decarbonization efforts of the Department of Defense installations and their efforts to meet the requirements of the Biden Administration Executive Order 14057. "In addition to being essential for national defense, our nation's military bases are powerful economic engines for surrounding communities providing jobs and driving thriving local economies," said Chris Cummiskey, executive vice president, chief customer solutions and chief commercial officer for Southern Company. "We're appreciative of this partnership with Fort Moore, further exhibiting our mutual commitment to energy innovation and decarbonization. As the new EV charging stations become electrified across the installation this year, we're certain the investment that is being made today will benefit the base for years to come."

Read More

Energy

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Agreement to Supply Federal Facilities in Three Southern States with 100% Carbon Pollution-Free Electricity

PR Newswire | October 26, 2023

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between GSA and Southern Company to develop carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) options for federal facilities in Southern Company's service territories. The MOU documents the intent of GSA and Southern Company to collaborate on development of a roadmap that, when executed, will lead to federal agencies in that region buying more CFE and achieving reliability and resiliency objectives outlined in Executive Order 14057 [lnks.gd]. The Biden-Harris Administration is leading by example to tackle the climate crisis through President Biden's Federal Sustainability Plan, which establishes an ambitious path to achieve 100% CFE for Federal government operations by 2030, including 50% on a 24/7 basis, along with aggressive goals for electric vehicles and net-zero emissions buildings. said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. This is our fourth MOU with a utility company and it's another example of how GSA is leading by example in tackling climate change, using our buying power and real estate footprint to move markets, create demand, drive efficiency, and catalyze efficiency and clean energy innovation. Through smart partnerships with energy service providers, we can help advance sustainability, create jobs, save taxpayer dollars, and ensure a healthier planet for our kids. [Source:PR Newswire] "Today's announcement delivers on President Biden's vision to build a new economy powered by clean energy—one that creates well-/paying jobs for American workers, healthier air for communities, and increases our energy independence," said Andrew Mayock, the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Southern Company has a goal to reach a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, from 2007 emissions levels, and reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Currently, the United States Army is the largest federal customer served by Southern Company. "The Department of Defense and the Army are committed to using carbon-free energy to support our national defense mission," said the Honorable Rachel Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of the United States Army, Installations, Energy and Environment. "Distributed Carbon-free energy generation–when integrated into a modernized grid that includes large-scale storage, upgraded transmission lines, and enhanced cybersecurity controls - is the best way to promote resilience so we can continue to deploy, fight, and win the nation's wars. The Army applauds the GSA-Southern Company agreement. The agreement demonstrates the exact kind of collaboration that is key to improving the reliability and resilience of the commercial grid and achieving our carbon-free energy and readiness goals." "Southern Company recognizes the importance of developing and supplying carbon-free electricity as we continue our efforts toward our goal of reaching net zero by 2050," said Chris Womack, CEO and president of Southern Company. "Through industry-leading innovation and a commitment to a net zero future, we are delivering sustainable and resilient energy solutions that help drive growth and prosperity. This partnership will serve as another important step toward these goals." GSA will continue to engage with Southern Company and other utilities to explore the advancement of potential CFE solutions including solar, battery storage, nuclear power, on-site generation and new sustainable technologies like clean hydrogen.

Read More

Energy

SEW Acquires GridExchange - Transactive Energy Platforms - Pioneering the Future of Clean Energy Transition

Business Wire | October 25, 2023

SEW, a global leader in AI-Powered Connected Customer (CX) and Workforce (WX) Experience Industry Cloud Platforms, announces its acquisition of GridExchange, a cutting-edge Transactive Energy software platform, from Alectra Utilities Corporation. GridExchange empowers energy consumers to transition from passive users to proactive prosumers, leveraging distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar panels, battery storage, and EV (Electric Vehicles). Through a secure and user-friendly Customer Experience (CX), GridExchange facilitates seamless exchanges of energy, driving a reduction in greenhouse gas CO2 emissions, lowering energy costs, and strengthening grid resiliency. stated Deepak Garg, CEO and Founder of SEW. At SEW, we are shaping a clean and sustainable energy future. The acquisition of GridExchange aligns perfectly with our vision and strategy of an intelligent, resilient, and sustainable energy ecosystem. Our journey towards a sustainable future begins with empowering and educating individuals and businesses alike to actively participate in the energy revolution," emphasized Deepak Garg. "By integrating GridExchange into our SEW connected platform, we are not only driving cleaner energy transition and adoption but also revolutionizing the way people and communities engage with their energy consumption. [Source:Business Wire] GridExchange’s web and mobile application allows utilities to engage customers with DERs, optimizing grid operations by managing peak load and maximizing GHG reduction. Customers, in turn, have the flexibility to contribute excess energy or adjust consumption patterns in exchange for financial incentives and loyalty rewards redeemable at local businesses. Brian Bentz, President and CEO of Alectra, emphasized, "Our development of GridExchange, which helped to enable non-wires alternative pilots in our service territory, illustrates our commitment to enabling customers to participate in local energy markets. We are pleased that SEW will now be taking this platform to a global market.” Key benefits of the SEW-GridExchange platform include Empowering Energy Choices: Customers can harness the potential of existing DERs, transforming into proactive contributors to the energy ecosystem. Reducing GHG Emissions: The incentivization of clean energy usage through GridExchange leads to a notable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Enhancing Grid Planning: The platform unlocks and optimizes DER values, increasing grid flexibility and resiliency; and contributes to integrated system planning with non-wires alternatives, reducing or deferring overall energy system costs. Advocating for Policy Change: The initiative motivates regulators to propose standards and policies that pave the way for a cleaner energy future. GridExchange’s innovative application also demonstrates the following objectives Leveraging cutting-edge transactive energy technology to facilitate DER participation in grid services and accurately track energy generation and consumption's GHG impact. Incentivizing customers who own or operate DERsl by providing valuable grid services. Introducing a pioneering customer rewards program, where points earned are redeemable for a range of goods and services from participating merchants. SEW is committed to building a resilient and sustainable energy ecosystem through the integration of advanced technologies like AI, ML, and IoT. With over 1.2 billion users and adoption by 410+ utilities worldwide, SEW is at the forefront of driving the transition towards an intelligent energy future. This landmark acquisition not only signifies a major stride towards sustainable energy, but also underscores SEW's commitment to pioneer a greener future through advanced technology. SEW's mission is to engage, empower, and educate billions of people worldwide to conserve energy and water. Now, with the addition of GridExchange, SEW is poised to take sustainability to new heights. About Alectra Inc. Alectra Inc., through its subsidiary Alectra Utilities Corporation, serves approximately one million homes and businesses across an 1,800 square kilometers service territory comprising 17 communities including Alliston, Aurora, Barrie, Beeton, Brampton, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Guelph, Hamilton, Markham, Mississauga, Penetanguishene, Richmond Hill, Rockwood, St. Catharine’s, Thornton, Tottenham and Vaughan. The Alectra family of companies includes Alectra Inc. (Mississauga), Alectra Utilities Corporation (Hamilton) and Alectra Energy Solutions (Vaughan). About SEW SEW, with its innovative and industry-leading connected cloud platforms, delivers the best Digital Customer Experiences (CX) and Workforce Experiences (WX), powered by AI, ML, and IoT Analytics to the global energy, water, and gas providers. At SEW, the vision is to Engage, Empower, and Educate billions of people to save energy and water. We partner with businesses to deliver platforms that are easy-to-use, integrate seamlessly, and help build a strong technological foundation that allows them to become future ready.

Read More

Transportation

Fort Moore EV charging project provides another example of EVSE solution

PR Newswire | October 23, 2023

Fort Moore and Georgia Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, recently entered into a contract to install 63 electric vehicle chargers at 23 locations across the base, allowing up to 126 vehicles to be plugged in on the base simultaneously. The project is underway and expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2024. Georgia Power was awarded a task order to provide a turnkey electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) solution using the General Services Administration Areawide Contract (AWC). The AWC task order will be used to provide a holistic and scalable EVSE solution to support electrification requirements. The AWC provides a useful contracting vehicle with regulated servicing utility companies. Under this arrangement, federal agencies may order utilities and other services from that supplier. The electric distribution system at Fort Moore is owned and managed by Flint Energies. Georgia Power, in partnership with Flint Energies, will extend the distribution system and add the charging stations necessary to charge the expanded electric vehicle fleet. stated Col. Colin Mahle, Fort Moore Garrison commander. Fort Moore leads the Army in our development and adoption of large-scale EV projects. The Army's goal is for all of our non-tactical vehicles to be EV by 2035. That will take more than just adding electric vehicles to our fleet, it will take additional infrastructure. We intend to achieve our goal of 100 percent EV vehicles early. [Source:PR Newswire] The EV charging project at Fort Moore is an example of better energy use and overall modernization. It also demonstrates Southern Company's commitment to supporting the resiliency, net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and decarbonization efforts of the Department of Defense installations and their efforts to meet the requirements of the Biden Administration Executive Order 14057. "In addition to being essential for national defense, our nation's military bases are powerful economic engines for surrounding communities providing jobs and driving thriving local economies," said Chris Cummiskey, executive vice president, chief customer solutions and chief commercial officer for Southern Company. "We're appreciative of this partnership with Fort Moore, further exhibiting our mutual commitment to energy innovation and decarbonization. As the new EV charging stations become electrified across the installation this year, we're certain the investment that is being made today will benefit the base for years to come."

Read More

Events