Birmingham, AL, United States
Birmingham, AL, United States

Alabama Power Company, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is a company in the southern United States that provides electricity service to 1.4 million customers in the southern two-thirds of Alabama. It also operates appliance stores. It is one of four U.S. utilities operated by the Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity.Alabama Power is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility, and the second largest subsidiary of Southern Company. More than 78,000 miles of power lines carry electricity to customers throughout 44,500 square miles .Alabama Power’s hydroelectric generating plants encompass several lakes on the Tallapoosa, Coosa, and Black Warrior rivers, as well as coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear and cogeneration plants in various parts of the state. In addition to generating electricity, the waters surrounding the plants offer recreational opportunities for Alabama residents and visitors. Wikipedia.

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Parker D.M.,Alabama Power Co | McCollough N.D.,EPRI
IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting | Year: 2011

Medium-voltage (MV) sensors for the Smart Grid are an evolving tool for the electric utility distribution engineer. Historically, to remotely monitor the power system flow on a distribution system, the most common option available was traditional current transformers (CTs) and potential transformers (PTs) combined with transducers. The most common means of communication was a leased telephone circuit. Around 1990, as the visions of fully automated distribution systems began to surface, a need was recognized for a device that could detect the magnitudes of the distribution system's primary voltages and line currents - devices that would be less expensive and less cumbersome to install and operate than the traditional CT and PT. Thus was born the MV sensor. As with many other emerging technologies, the evolution of these MV sensors - from the concept of a cycloalaphatic or epoxy post-type insulator with embedded discrete components to the more recent concept of a polymer with optics - has been filled with trials and tribulations. This paper covers some of the basic design concepts, technical capabilities, applications, reports of independent lab tests, and "lessons learned" with these sensor types, which are destined to become part of the initial building blocks for the Smart Grid. © 2011 IEEE.

Trueblood C.,EPRI | Coley S.,EPRI | Key T.,EPRI | Rogers L.,EPRI | And 3 more authors.
IEEE Power and Energy Magazine | Year: 2013

Conventional power plant performance metrics are designed for dispatchable generation. These can be difficult to apply to variable generators such as wind and solar power. This article describes additional metrics that can be applied to photovoltaic (PV ) power plants and illustrates these metrics using measured data collected from a 1-MW PV plant in Tennessee over a one-year period. The article persuades that new metrics will be needed to measure and effectively employ PV for duty in a traditional generation fleet. © 2003-2012 IEEE.

News Article | November 18, 2015

While states ponder their role in compliance with the now-final Clean Power Plan, the ultimate action will be in the electric power sector itself. Utilities and other generators are making early moves to prepare for, if not get ahead of, EPA requirements. Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) are also starting to weigh in on solutions. For RTOs and ISOs, that means advocating for regional compliance rather than state-by-state plans. For utilities – well, it means continuing to move away from the power sources of the past and toward advanced energy. The message from grid operators in the nation’s organized electricity markets to state officials is simple: Think outside your state borders. “Our studies have shown that compliance on a regional basis is more effective than state-by-state,” Southern Power Pool (SPP) Vice President of Engineering Lanny Nickell explained. “If you have to do something, it’s a good way to go, and trading ready helps.” Similarly, Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) Executive VP of Transmission and Technology Clair Moeller said, “It does make a difference if states go down the path [toward compliance] individually. It will erode the value of the market dramatically.” States in the PJM footprint (sub. required) have been discussing potential coordination since June. Doug Scott, VP of Strategic Initiatives at the Great Plains Institute, said that “almost all” of the 14 states in PJM are participating. Even as states consider the merits of regional collaboration, several utilities are actively moving toward CPP compliance well before the 2022 interim period begins. For example, seven power producers were among the 74 companies signing onto the President’s American Business Act on Climate initiative, namely, Berkshire Hathaway Energy (parent company of subsidiaries including PacifiCorp, MidAmerican Energy, and NV Energy), Calpine, Iberdrola USA, AEE member company Invenergy, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Portland General Electric (PGE), and Tri Global Energy. Berkshire Hathaway pledged to retire 75% of its coal-fired capacity in Nevada by 2019, while PGE pledged to stop using coal altogether. Invenergy pledged to supply over 1 GW of new wind and solar and double its energy storage capacity by 2020. Even in lawsuits filed against the Clean Power Plan, EPA has the support of several utilities and energy companies. In a joint motion to intervene on behalf of EPA, Calpine, Austin Energy, PG&E, Seattle City Light, and National Grid cited their collective “history of investing in clean generation and supporting the EPA’s efforts” as proof of “the achievability and reasonableness of the CPP.” NextEra Energy has also filed to intervene in support of EPA. However, not all utilities and utility groups have followed suit — some have instead filed suits. Southern Company’s four utilities — Alabama Power Co., Georgia Power Co., Gulf Power Co. and Mississippi Power Co. — filed a petition for review of the CPP, as did the American Public Power Association and the so-called Utility Air Regulatory Group, whose members are not identified. In addition, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) was joined by 37 of the nation’s 900 member cooperatives in filing for a review and a stay on the rule. As some utilities are busily preparing their legal positions on either side, others appear content to stay on the sidelines. As the Wall Street Journal reported prior to the initial filing of lawsuits, utilities including Dominion Resources Inc. in Virginia, FirstEnergy Corp. in Ohio, and Dynergy Inc. in Houston were moving towards compliance rather than rushing to oppose the plan in court. According to Dominion Chief Executive Tom Farrell, “Everybody is moving in this direction anyway.” The Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which represents all U.S. investor-owned utilities, has also thus far stayed out of the litigation. EEI’s top lobbyist Brian Wolff explained that the group has chosen to engage with EPA rather than challenge the rule, saying, “It’s just never been our role to act as a challenging entity.” Other utilities are moving toward advanced energy for purely economic reasons. CEO Ben Fowke of Minneapolis-based Xcel said the utility is seeing wind PPA bids at approximately $25/MWh, competitive with gas prices, which are close to historic lows. Fowke explained, “When we’re buying wind at $25, it’s a hedge against natural gas,” adding, “wind is becoming pretty close to parity.” The utility plans to add 1,600 MW of wind energy over the next 15 years, exceeding state requirements in both Minnesota and Colorado. At the same time, many utilities are retiring higher-emitting sources. By the end of 2015, Alliant, Westar, and DTE Energy will retire a combined 600 MW of coal, natural gas, and biomass capacity in Wisconsin and Kansas. Age, costly upgrades, new regulations, reduced demand, and cheap natural gas were all cited in the decisions. CPP opponents have dubbed Westar’s closing plants the first victims of the rule, even though Westar’s announcement did not mention the CPP but rather emphasized that the plants have outlived their useful life by 25% to 50%. But if you listen to Charles Patton, President of Appalachian Power, West Virginia’s largest electric utility, the decline of coal power is inevitable, even without the CPP. “With or without the Clean Power Plan, the economics of alternatives to fossil-based fuels are making inroads in the utility plan,” Patton told energy executives at his state’s Energy Summit. “Companies are making decisions today where they are moving away from coal-fired generation.” That includes Appalachian Power, which anticipates a 26% decline in coal use by 2026, with or without the CPP.

Clark L.,Alabama Power Co | Boardman E.,Alstom
IEEE Power and Energy Magazine | Year: 2011

A flexible, scalable control center environment has been the vision and is now the goal of many distribution utilities. The traditional large, fixed mapboard surrounding the control room with cabinets full of paper maps impedes efforts to improve the efficiency of distribution grid operation. Distribution operations will typically expand to multiple, smaller control areas in response to high system activity, such as a wide-area storm event. Afterward, seamlessly contracting back to a single (or a smaller) control center without interrupting normal operating routines can be a major problem. © 2011 IEEE.

Horton R.,Alabama Power Co | Haskew T.A.,University of Alabama
IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery | Year: 2010

Large disturbing loads such as electric arc furnaces (EAF) create fluctuations in source voltage at the point of common coupling (PCC). These voltage fluctuations then propagate throughout the power system with varying degrees of attenuation. The amount of attenuation is, in general, a function of system impedance and load composition, and can be characterized by what is known as a flicker transfer coefficient. The frequency response of synchronous generators near 60 Hz has a significant effect on flicker propagation, particularly in networked HV or EHV systems. To date, information available in the literature has not adequately described this phenomenon from a theoretical perspective or shown how to take this affect into consideration when computing flicker transfer coefficients. The following paper addresses these issues by: 1) providing a formal description of a synchronous generator model that can be used to determine flicker transfer coefficients when traditional modeling methods may not be appropriate and 2) providing a novel way of calculating flicker transfer coefficients using the described machine model. Synchronized flicker measurements, made at an EAF installation and nearby generating facility in the Southern Company service area, were used to validate the results of the proposed method. © 2009 IEEE.

Horton R.,Alabama Power Co | Haskew T.A.,University of Alabama
IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery | Year: 2011

It has been suggested that the recommended flicker planning levels provided in IEC 61000 3-7 and IEEE 1453 are too restrictive for high-voltage and extra-high-voltage networks. The premise of this argument is based on a perceived increase in low-voltage (LV) flicker compatibility level. Some believe that flicker measurements made in Europe over a period of several years support the notion of an increased LV compatibility level; however, measurements performed by the authors in North America indicate otherwise. Analysis of authors' measurements suggests that the lack of customer complaints is due primarily to the effect of flicker transfer coefficients, rather than a presumed increase in LV compatibility level, and supports the continued use of P st95% =1.0 as the LV flicker compatibility level. © 2010 IEEE.

Johnson M.,Alabama Power Co
Strategic Planning for Energy and the Environment | Year: 2011

Given the strong concern for the environment, a national desire to be energy independent, and a need to reduce corporate expenses, the stage is set for corporate energy management initiatives to be more successful than ever. Implementing a corporate energy plan can be challenging, and a number of important factors will primarily determine the effectiveness of these initiatives. This article presents recommendations for developing a successful energy management program from the perspective of an electric utility representative.

Clark G.L.,Alabama Power Co
IEEE Power and Energy Magazine | Year: 2014

Restoring service to customers has always been a top priority at the Alabama Power Company during my 45 years there. Although the task is the same, the methods and technologies that can be brought to bear on it have changed and improved dramatically. Technology has helped the company improve its response to system disturbances. Automation technology deployed in the distribution control room, in distribution substations, and at discrete sites along the distribution feeder provides system intelligence regarding the state and condition of the electric distribution system. Automation technology also facilitates the presentation of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) telemetry to the distribution operator. Meanwhile, advances in desktop computing workstations permit the geographical display of distribution circuits in a wide-area view, which improves the visibility of the distribution system for the operator. The big-picture or wide-area view that was once displayed on the paper map board is now presented in the control room on its desktop workstations. Today, application integration is providing the next round of technology improvement in the distribution control room. Advanced applications within an integrated platform are providing techniques to improve the efficiency and reliability of the distribution system. Together, these advanced applications improve service restoration. This article describes the past, present, and future of service restoration technology at Alabama Power. © 2003-2012 IEEE.

Alabama Power Co | Date: 2012-06-12

printed materials, namely, coloring books, activity books, posters, booklets, bookmarks, handbooks, teachers guides, game boards, puzzle books and stickers, featuring safe use of electricity.

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